Hutton, Moran Speak with Press Herald About Moderate Drought

Mark Hutton, a vegetable specialist and associate professor of vegetable crops with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension; and Renae Moran, a tree fruit specialist with UMaine Extension, spoke to the Portland Press Herald for an article about how much of New England is experiencing a drier than normal spring. The lack of rain early in the season could help farmers get crops started without dealing with mud that can often delay the planting season, according to the article. Hutton said the lack of rainfall has helped complete tasks such as field work and preparation that are often delayed by rain, but says it is “a double-edged sword.” Farmers are “not being delayed because of excessive moisture, but they’re having to spend time irrigating crops,” he said. Because of the drier weather, Moran said she has applied fewer fungicide sprays and is expecting fewer diseases and hail damage. Hutton and Moran said if the dry weather continues, it could cause a problem, especially for farmers without access to rivers or ponds for irrigation.