Dry conditions continue to expand into the Finger Lakes region of New York, with almost 10% of the state now in extreme drought, according to the latest data from the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Extreme drought conditions also expanded in New Hampshire, up to double digits this week.
David Simeral, of the Western Regional Climate Center, reports temperatures were one to five degrees above normal in the Northeast.
Last week, natural disaster funding was made available for growers in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire, whose crops were affected by the drought conditions this growing season.
While the drought rages on in the Northeast, growers are highlighting one benefit of drought stress – higher Brix in fruit to be harvested.
“Peaches love heat. This hot weather we had in August – peaches love that,” Jim Bittner of Bittner-Singer Orchards in Appleton, NY, tells The Buffalo News. “They take that sunlight and turn it into sugar.”
“The apples are going to be smaller, but hopefully sweeter,” Alfred Wodehouse of Stonehill Orchards in North Collins, NY, tells The News.