Abnormally dry conditions could impact local farmers

The latest drought monitor shows western Massachusetts experiencing some abnormally dry conditions.
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 3:49 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2022 at 4:44 PM EDT
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SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The latest drought monitor shows western Massachusetts experiencing some abnormally dry conditions.

Despite two wet mornings this week, western Massachusetts has been experiencing a bit of a dry spell. Western Mass News First Alert Meteorologist Don Maher told us that, according to the drought monitor, we’re seeing abnormally dry conditions expanding into the region. Maher told us all of Hampden and Hampshire County, as well as a portion of Franklin County, are below normal for rainfall this season.

“If the dry conditions continue and we don’t see any rainfall continue, our next step would be a moderate drought unless we pick up a couple inches of rainfall say in the next weeks, we could be talking about a moderate drought here in western Mass.,” Maher explained.

Maher said that if we do move into a drought, it could potentially affect farmers in our area.

“It may impact farmers when it comes to putting water on their crops obviously. They rely on Mother Nature when it comes to moisture, so they may have to start irrigating fields things of that nature,” Maher added.

We spoke with McCray’s Farm owner Stephen McCray, who said that thanks to their naturally wet soil, their crops are doing well. However, it’s all about balance. He told Western Mass News that, at this point, the lack of rain has had a good impact on their crops and has allowed them to access land that can sometimes become too damp due to rain.

“You kind of never really know until the seasons done how it’s gonna go, but right now, we’re fine,” McCray noted.

McCray told us in the past, the farm has had to buy crops to sell like pumpkins due to drought affecting the growth of their own produce. However, too much rain fall can also lead to a washout of crops.

“You know, a little more rain wouldn’t hurt, but you really need to be careful what you wish for [because] I’ve seen that happen too many times. You just kind of take what you get,” McCray said.