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After dry, 'challenging' summer, fall forecast looks promising for farmers

Hot weather has hampered farms across Connecticut but there is hope for autumn's apple and pumpkin harvests.

MIDDLEFIELD, Conn. — Local farms and orchards continue to endure a dry summer, even after much-needed showers touched down across Connecticut this week.

“The summer of 2022 has been very challenging for growers,” said John Lyman, the owner of Lyman Orchards in Middlefield.

RELATED: 'They're on their own to survive': Future uncertain for apple picking as drought continues

Lyman, who runs 1,200 acres of farmland where they grow an array of fruits and vegetables, said the hot and dry summer continues to present hurdles at Lyman Orchards.

However, the timely rains have helped his much sought-after fall crops.

“Timing is everything,” said Lyman, who mentioned that he is looking forward to both the apple and pumpkins season ahead.

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Thus far, Lyman noted, the pumpkin crop could be better than the one last year due to flooding rains from tropical systems that hampered them in 2021.

“I think from what I’m hearing – throughout Connecticut – it’s going to be OK for pumpkins.” Lyman added. “Right now, pumpkins are doing very well because it has been dry, they’ve been growing well… if you’ve had timely summer showers, it’s been helpful.”

RELATED: Could the ongoing drought impact the upcoming fall foliage in Connecticut?

Additionally, Lyman noted that the apple crop might not be as large volume-wise as 2021 but, “the flavor is good because in a dry season the sugars are more concentrated.” Looking to the coming months Lyman said, “people will find really nice fruit out in the orchard this year, we’re going into the best time of the year for us.”

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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