Flooding throughout rising season devastates Connecticut farmers

GLASTONBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Floodwaters from the Connecticut River have now submerged a whole bunch of acres of farmland. The extent of water resembles a nasty spring flood, however the timing through the rising season makes this flood a lot worse for farmers.

At a fast look, it looks like the tobacco subject at AJ Gondek Farms stops, however actually water from the Connecticut River has engulfed a number of acres of pricey broad-leaf tobacco.

“As soon as the tobacco, or actually any crop, as soon as they’re lined with water, for actually greater than a day, they’re achieved,” farm proprietor Al Gondek stated. “The vegetation are going to die.”

Having a farm in Glastonbury, on the banks of a significant river, means Gondek has to cope with floods typically.

“Normally, you get this within the spring,” Gondek stated. “We’ve seen it in September or October, however this time of 12 months is fairly uncommon.”

It’s additionally dangerous for enterprise as a result of the tobacco vegetation have been simply two or three weeks away from harvest.

Throughout the river in Rocky Hill, Truthful Climate Growers is elevating a whole bunch of acres of greens.

“We didn’t lose all of our crops,” stated third-generation farmer Billy Collins. “We most likely misplaced upwards of 80% of our crops.”

Along with promoting these crops at his farmstand, Collins is the biggest grower of string beans in New England, supplying main chains like Massive Y and Bozzuto’s.

One of many long-term issues is that if Massive Y or Bozzuto’s can’t get their string beans from Truthful Climate, they are going to get them from some other place. Even when Truthful Climate re-plants, will Massive Y and Bozzutto’s return and purchase from Truthful Climate once more?

“We’re most likely going to be pressured to alter how the farm operates to perhaps downsize the farm,” Collins stated.

Related floods in 2021 and Hurricane Irene in 2011 worn out earlier crops, forcing Collins to take out loans to maintain going. Loans he’s nonetheless paying again.

“The quantity of stress and what farmers have gone by over time, and it appears to get more durable and more durable, really, as time evolves, with much less and fewer reward for it,” Collins stated.

The concern is local weather change will make floods and droughts extra frequent within the coming years.

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