Farmers face steep crop losses in US Northeast amid summer storms

By Grace van Deelen

While much of the country suffers from extreme heat this summer, the US Northeast has seen excessive rains and extreme flooding, conditions that have decimated crops, drowned livestock, and left farmers struggling.

July has been especially wet for Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Hartford, Connecticut, for instance, has seen over 400% more rainfall than the historical average. After an already wetter-than average summer, a series of strong storms have overwhelmed rivers, causing them to jump their banks and flood farm fields across the region.

“It is certainly the worst flooding we’ve had in the last century,” said Scott Waterman, a spokesperson for the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets. “The revenue losses are looking like they’re going to be incredibly high.

At least 7,000 acres of farmland in Vermont alone have been lost, according to Waterman.

Farmers are now working on cleaning up destroyed farm fields, replanting some crops, and repairing damaged equipment with an eye towards a wetter, more weather-extreme future as climate change worsens. Crops grown in the Northeast at the time floodwaters rose included tomatoes, squash, salad greens, cucumbers, corn, herbs, cabbage, onions, and feed for livestock.