Urban farmers facing crop issues after heavy rainfall

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 9, 2015) - Central Indiana farmers are struggling after heavy rainfall. Experts say some farmers will not be able to recover from the losses they suffered this season.

Urban farmers face a different set of challenges than traditional farmers. The farm manager at Urban Acres Organic Farm said some of their plants now have fungal diseases due to prolonged exposure to standing water.

"Four and a half inches [of rain] in one day is way too much," said manger Tyler Gough.  "So, not only are we getting seeds swept out, we’re really struggling with our tomatoes."

Gough said they expect their yields to be down by about a third.

"We’re still making it, we’re still growing food, but yeah we do need the rain to stop," Gough said.

Urban farmers harvest throughout the summer instead of waiting for one large harvest. Extremely wet conditions during the summer months are making the usual urban farm process more difficult. Plus, most urban farmers rely on selling their products at Farmer's Markets in order to make money off their crops, according to Purdue Extension educators. Rainy weather means fewer people attending those markets and therefore lower sales.

The consistent rain prevents farmers from spending much time tending to their fields. They must also take extra precautions once the rain passes.

"One thing that we try to do is stay out of the muddy fields," Gough said. "After the rain, the ground can get really compacted and as you walk through it you can really mess up your soil. So we try to stay out the fields as much as possible and certainly away from the plants."



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