hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

Business

August 29, 2013

Crops make a comeback

City farms rebound from rough start, have successful season

(Continued)

“The corn’s doing well, but we’ve always been lucky up here,’’ she said. “We have good soil that drains well and the crop is coming in well.’’

Donnie Cox of Fletcher Community Farm, where the prime crop is root stock, said the wet June followed by the heat of July could have damaged his crop.

“But I put in an irrigation system that got us through that hot weather when everything went dry,” he said. “All the hard weather gave us problems with weeds.’’

Kimball did not get in all the hay crop he planned to use for feed, and then the spike of non-stop 90-degree weather hurt the milk production. His corn that usually starts in the winter ground drowned from the heavy June rains, he said.

“Nature works in a balance, and we’re just not seeing that balance,” Kimball said.

Jim Fay at Fay’s Farm on Amesbury Line Road said his fruits look okay now, but the wet start to the growing season gave his trees some problems. Trees drop their fruit if they feel stressed, and the water stressed the trees.

“Water is the issue,’’ Fay said. “We had weeks that went from real wet to real dry, and plants like an even-water season.’’

The sudden rise in temperatures into the 90s made the trees drop a lot of fruit to survive. Fay said that trees perform best in a cycle of warm days and cool nights. That allows their fruit to ripen. But he is not too worried as his crop is always a late-season one. The conditions have evened out and the trees have responded well.

Srybny-Bucci understands her business and its risks.

“You hope every year it will get a little better,’’ she said. “Every year is a little different.’’

A tale of two extremes

June: About a foot of rain soaked crops and livestock, making growth difficult.

July: Temperatures consistently in the 90s also caused growing problems.

A tale of two extremes June: About a foot of rain soaked crops and livestock, making growth difficult. July: Temperatures consistently in the 90s also caused growing problems.

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