Photo: Jimmy Emerson (Flickr)
The warm spring and the recent dry spell are taking a toll on southern Indiana farmers.
Jennie Hoene of Ewenique Sheep farm in Seymour says the lack of rain has destroyed her entire celery crop and prevented her from planting soy beans.
“It’s affecting us in a small way. By comparisons of what if this continues, it will be devastating,” she says. “I mean there won’t be anything to sell.”
Many produce farmers were already dealt one devastating blow this year. The warm spring followed by an unexpected frost cost many grape and apple growers at least part of their crop.
“We started out about 6 weeks earlier than normal which is unbelievable,” Paul Anderson, owner of Anderson Orchards in Mooresville, says regarding when he had to start planting his crops because of the warm weather. “It’s been 50 years, and I’ve never seen it that early.”
Anderson says then with the freeze, his crops were damaged since they were already fairly far along in their cycle.
Bloomingfoods produce buyer Ruth Ferree says when growers lose part of their crops, prices usually go up. She says that has not happened yet, but she thinks an increase on Indiana grown produce is likely.
“We handle a variety of products that we have to have here at all times, and you know we hope and pray that we can have local, but if we can’t then we have to go through other sources,” she says.
Droughts seen in the past two growing seasons have occurred later in the summer, but a drought beginning in June has the potential to be especially devastating.