Eastern Conn. Farmers Feeling Effects of Drought Conditions

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Connecticut’s Interagency Drought Workgroup issued a Stage 1 notice for New London and Windham counties, giving a heads up for the possibility of a developing drought.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, most of eastern Connecticut is experiencing moderate drought conditions right now. Parts of Middlesex, New Haven, Hartford and Litchfield counties are facing abnormally dry conditions.

Rich Campbell Jr. co-owns Campbell's Farm Stand in Griswold. He said that the dry conditions are not having a major impact on his produce yet, but the conditions are making it more difficult to grow the produce.

"We try to keep the water to them, but they are getting challenged and drying up a little bit," Campbell said. "We could definitely use some rain."

The farm uses an irrigation system to keep the crops watered.

"Typically, we use it when needed and this year, we have needed it a lot," Campbell said. "Not all of our gardens are set up this way. So we are just keeping an eye on the others and hoping for the best."

The team at Scott's Yankee Farmer in East Lyme is also hoping for the best.

"You just have to control what you can control and the weather is not one of them," said Colin Scott, a farmer at the family-owned business.

Scott's produce has also not been majorly affected by the dry conditions. They still have plenty to sell at their store, but the conditions are making them work harder.

"It is a lot of work. You have to put effort into irrigating every day, every week. You always have to think about it. What you are going to water next, what needs to be watered," Scott said. "It never ends. Especially this time of year." 

The state's drought workgroup is scheduled to meet again on July 13 to consider drought conditions and potential updates to the state drought plan and implementation processes, according to the CT Drought Information Center.

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