Drought Has Mass. Farms On ‘Brink Of Collapse’

BOSTON (CBS) – Much of the state is in moderate to severe drought, lawns have gone brown and farmers are desperate to see it pour.

For a lifelong farmer like Edward Davidian, the drought has gone on too long.

“This is probably the driest one I have ever seen,” says Davidian.

He is the president of the Mass Farm Bureau and co-owner of Davidian Brothers Farm in Northboro. The effect of a lack of rain may be obvious but the impact on crops is even larger.

Davidian says, “well when there’s not enough water the plants suffer, you know, they’ll grow, they won’t grow well, the physical size of the product you pick off it will be smaller. There’ll be problems with it in some cases.”

And for many farms, there’s no water left.

“You are going to have some farms on the brink of collapse,” says Davidian, “that will not be able to survive.”

And it’s not raining money either.

“At this point, there is no state aid, there’s no disaster money available at this time. Farms are kind of on their own,” said Davidian.

And a lack of water throws farms into disarray.

Davidian said, “what ends up happening is that the time they spend moving irrigation equipment around is time they cannot spend harvesting what they have.”

In simpler terms, Davidian says a “farmer has to make a choice of whether to harvest, or go out there continuing watering.”

Davidian says it’s not hopeless, yet.

“If we could catch an inch to an inch and a half of rain each week, we can salvage quite a bit of the season.”

Davidian is urging people to continue supporting local farms to help them, pardon the pun, weather the storm.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jeff Brown reports

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