Local Farmers Cope without Rain

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EUGENE, Ore. — It’s been 19 dry days and counting now in what’s shaping up to be one of the drier springs on record.

Local farms have only received six inches of rain since January, about a third of what they’re supposed to get. But where Mother Nature fails, farmers prevail.

“When it gets hot, we have to water more,” said Pam Henderson, Thistledown Farm Co-Owner.

At Thistledown Farm, that’s typically mid-summer when we see temperatures spike into the 80s and higher, not May.

“Whatever we get, we have to deal with it. You can’t control the weather,” Henderson said.

So in this case, out come the irrigation pipes and sprinklers about a month early.

“We can add our own water, and a lot of times that’s better for us,” Henderson said.

The ground is dry at Detering Orchards, but that is a good thing. It actually helps the tree fruits come into season a little early, like the cherries, which are two weeks ahead of schedule.

“Normally, they’re not on until July. We’re hoping to maybe have some cherries around June 20. We are having several vegetables and should have a good supply of berries by the time we open up for our grand opening on June 8,” said Gerig Detering, Detering Orchards Co-Owner.

Barring any late-season frosts or monsoon rain, this summer’s harvest should be early and bountiful.

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