Lack of rain taking a toll on landscape

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 July 2016 at 12:00 am

“We’re going to be in very bad shape” without rain soon

Drought conditions in Albion

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The trees on the lawn at the Hoag Library in Albion are surrounded by a lawn that has turned yellow and brown due to the lack of rain.Much of the county has only received about 20 to 30 percent of the rainfall the past four months compared to what is normal during that time frame, said Larry Meyer, director of the Farm Service Agency in Orleans County.

The area normally receives about 15 to 16 inches of rain during the previous four months, but 4 inches or less is more common this year for Orleans County, Meyer said. That has left many stunted crops.

Rain is in the forecast for later this week, and Meyer said it is desperately needed for farmers to have a chance at a viable crop for harvest season.

“If this continues we’re going to be in very bad shape,” Meyer said today. “We need rain and it needs to be soon.”

Many farmers have been irrigating which has helped some of the crops. Meyer praised the Canal Corp. for working to reopen the canal quickly after the repair of the culvert in Hulberton. About 25 farms have siphon permits for canal water between Brockport and Middleport.

The U.S. Drought Monitor last week declared that nearly all of Orleans County is suffering from “Moderate Drought” conditions. Meyer said he looked at agency records and the amount of rainfall the past four months is the least amount in about 40 years.