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Flooding Concerns Continue for Connecticut Farmers

“It’s just one battle after another daily here."

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With more rain in the forecast, farmers are worried about their crops.

The conditions are especially concerning for those who farm along the Connecticut River.

“Frustrating, but it’s also like going down the casino and throwing dice on the table, you never know what you’re going to get,” said Kevin Bassette of Killam and Bassette Farmstead in Glastonbury.

Bassette and his wife Chris are begging Mother Nature to bring dry weather, as they watch water from the river inch its way towards their farmland.

“On a dry year, we can always make it water. On a wet year, you just can’t take the water out of the land because it gets so saturated,” said Kevin.

The Bassettes tell NBC Connecticut part of their farmland has already flooded once recently.

It receded, and once they get the land ready to plant more crops, it rains again.

And if this pattern continues, “We will lose a good majority of sweet corn, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, all our fall pumpkins that we planted.

The forecast, coupled with the river level, can bring tricky pest and disease problems for farmers too.

“Elsa gave us 6 inches of rain in 48 hours. We actually looked at the rain gauge and thought something was wrong with it,” said Beth Dufford Couture of Riverview Farms in South Glastonbury.

Her family's farm is known around the world for its Dufford tobacco, but this week their pumpkins are their biggest concern.

“We think we have saved the field behind you of tobacco. If we had another foot, we would have lost this field on some of our best land.”

Dufford Couture says about four acres of pumpkins are under water.

“The pumpkins survived the first flooding and this is a little tough, said Dufford Couture, a third generation farmer who says if it the area doesn’t dry out soon the pumpkins will rot.

“We don’t put all our eggs in one basket. We have two other fields of pumpkins, so good advice from your elders, spread things out a little bit.”

The Bassettes bank on their other entities at times like this too.

They sell pork and chicken meat, eggs and canned goods as well.

“All of those things help for when things like this happen. You always hope it doesn’t happen, but with where we live it’s an expectation at some point,” said Chris Bassette.

Last week, DroneRanger flew over farmland in Rocky Hill.

It checked back in Tuesday and spotted even more flooding in the fields.

Gilbert Farm in Rocky Hill shared this video on their Facebook page, writing: “If the River crests over its banks, all our summer veggies will go under water! Keep us in your prayers!”

Like all farmers across Connecticut, those we spoke to are trying to make the best with what they can control as they monitor the impact that comes with a lot of rain.

“It’s just one battle after another daily here,” said Kevin Bassette.

Connecticut’s Department of Agriculture Commissioner urges farmers to report any crop losses to the USDA, whether they have crop insurance or not.

He says this data helps paint a big picture of the problem in our state and can bring help, and funding, with it.

He also hopes people support local farmers during this difficult time by shopping at their farm stands.

And, he says it's a great time to pick blueberries too, no matter the weather.

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