Pond Water Disappearing, Crops Destroyed at Guilford Farm as Drought Intensifies

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Keith Bishop has worked at his family’s farm for over four decades. He says this is the worst drought he has ever experienced, as the entire state now falls under Stage 2 drought conditions. 

“Extremely concerned our bottom line is shrinking due to many factors. The drought is just one of those extra ones this year on top of the pandemic and labor supply,” said President and CEO Keith Bishop. 

Many peaches are falling off their trees at Bishop’s Orchards because of dehydration, according to Bishop. 

“This year we've had to irrigate peaches as much as we possibly can. We are balancing that with the water supply, because if we over irrigate too quick then we are going to run out of water for later in the season,” said Bishop. 

 Pond water used to irrigate the crops is running low, with no relief in sight. The farm is working to conserve its supply. 

“We got to be careful we are not over pumping and not have water next week because we don't know when this situation is going to stop and when we will have a rainfall that will alleviate,” explained Bishop. 

Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt of the Department of Agriculture says there is work being done at the state level to help local farmers. 

 “So, we are working with the USDA to get a secretarial disaster declaration or something similar that would alleviate some of the pressure and potentially make some funding available for Connecticut farmers,” Hurlburt said. 

 That relief could come as direct assistance or emergency loans. 

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