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Wet June has Maritime farmers concerned


July 7, 2009
By The Canadian Press

Topics

rainyweatherJuly 7, 2009, Fredericton, NB – Strawberry producers are shaking a fist
at the sky after more than two weeks of wet, cloudy weather in the
Maritimes.

July 7, 2009, Fredericton, NB – Strawberry producers are shaking a fist at the sky after more than two weeks of wet, cloudy weather in the Maritimes.

rainyweather 
  

With a bumper crop of green strawberries on their plants, damp, sunless days are slowing the ripening process and quickly causing ripe berries to rot on the plants.

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But they’re not the only ones hurting after June’s cool, rainy days.

Potatoes, for instance, are susceptible to late blight, the nemesis of growers.

“When it’s wet, they can’t get out and cultivate as frequently,” said Rob English, president of the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick. “They can’t even get in the fields.”

“Vegetable producers, if they’re on flat or low land, are going to have very, very soggy land and that’s going to be an impact,” he said. “If the ground stays wet, roots don’t have enough air and they suffocate.”

“The strawberry people have had their problems. Raspberries aren’t too far behind strawberries and they could be impacted,” English said. “We do need a break in the weather before things get really worse.”

“If we have a break very soon, most of this will be behind us very quickly. … If we have another couple of weeks of this, that can be pretty bad.”

Environment Canada says the last full day of sun in the Maritimes – from sunrise to sunset – was June 17.