BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - First it was the spring frosts and now the heat and drought are creating issues for local farmers and nothing is getting away unscathed.
"There is really no number one; they are all affected," said Charles Rizzo of Eden. "Everything needs a drink of water."
According to Rizzo, it's the combination of dry air and warm winds that hurts the most.
"When it's dry, the plants can't recover fast enough from the hot winds," he explains. "It's not the sun so much, it's the hot wind."
Niagara County is one of the areas in a moderate drought. One of the ways farmers have combated it is by moving different crops to different types of soil that hold water better. Even then, it still takes a lot of watering
"The biggest problem is we have to run irrigation," said Stacey McAvoy of Prudom Farms.
In addition to higher water bills, irrigating crops presents some unique challenges.
"Corn, if it has too much irrigation, doesn't have the flavor--it doesn't have the natural sugar in it," she explains. "You cant irrigate things like berries, because it knocks them off and its not good for them."
The lost crop has caused the price of produce to increase, but McAvoy has been able to save money because the smaller fruit yields mean hiring less pickers.
Rizzo hasn't raised prices yet and is still hopeful things can turn around.
"You don't know until it's over," he said. "Things change with the weather so fast. I'm not going to tell you 'this is down' or 'that is down' because it can change in two days."
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