How Are Jersey Crops Holding Up This Summer? [AUDIO]
With the fourth heat wave now under our belts, New Jersey crops are faring pretty well. But, if the oppressive temperatures would have continued, it could've been more of a problem.
That's according to State Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher, who says blueberries, corn, tomatoes, peaches and other fresh produce for which New Jersey gets its name are actually faring pretty well.
"Just when we thought things were going to be really horrible, the rains came. Then the oppressive heat brought on intensely dry conditions, then we got a little bit of rain," said Fisher. "So, just when things were on the brink, Mother Nature stepped in and helped out. Plus, farmers in New Jersey have the ability to irrigate their crops, so even when it's very dry, they can get the right amount of water to allow their crops to thrive. If the oppressive heat would've continued, we probably would've had bigger problems coming into this week, but it's broken, so that worked out in our favor."
"Farmers deal with different weather patterns every year and, of course, they never know what each year is going to bring," said Fisher. "But, so far, we're managing to tip toe through and have a good crop and that's what's important. So far, blueberries are delicious, fruit is sweet, great corn is being pulled all over the state. So, we're doing just fine right now."
"Of all of the fresh fruits and produce New Jersey is known for, wine grapes are probably doing the best. They thrive in extreme heat. It makes the sugar content higher, the grapes are sweeter and it makes better wines. Because the roots go so deep into the ground, there is almost no weather pattern that these grapes can't withstand," said Fisher. "If you have a choice, you'd rather have it more hot and be able to irrigate than too wet and there's nothing you can do."