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Derry, NH Farmer Says Heat Is A Challenge That Can Also Help Profits

By Lauren Leamanczyk, WBZ-TV's New Hampshire Bureau Chief
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A sprinkler soaks a corn field in Derry, NH

A sprinkler soaks a corn field in Derry, NH

DERRY, NH (CBS) – While some try to beat the heat, farmer Phil Ferdinando of J & F Farms just tries to keep up. With acres and acres of corn, it’s not easy.

“Yesterday, I started watering at 6 o’clock in the morning and I finished at 1 o’clock this morning,” he said.

He’s putting in 19-hour days in 100 degree heat. It’s the only way to keep his crops hydrated.

“If we didn’t have water here, every place you see the corn is wilted, there wouldn’t be any corn to pick.”

As the stalks bake in the sun, they suck up twice as much water as usual. Phil expected he would empty his pond by the end of the day.

WBZ-TV’s New Hampshire Bureau Chief Lauren Leamanczyk reports

At J & F Farms, heat costs money. It takes gas to run the water pump all day. Plus, there’s the added labor, not just for watering but for picking. Heat plus water means crops grow fast. If they’re not picked right away, they’ll get over ripe.

Soaring mercury creates a lot of work for Phil. But if he keeps up with his watering, it means a bumper crop for customers. And so, the long days continue until the heat breaks.

“Just drink water all day and keep going,” he said as he walked off into his fields.

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