After one of the warmest and driest winters on record, farmers are in desperate need of some rain. Their fields are cracked, and the soil is too dry to plant. Mike Pezza of Pezza Farms in Johnston says that in his whole life he can't remember his fields ever being this dry.
Pezza was able to prep his fields early this year since there was no snow cover but now is waiting out for the rain before he plants much.
Since March 1st only 1.5 inches or just over 20% of the normal amount of rainfall has been measured. Al Bettencourt, Director of the Rhode Island Farm Bureau is staying positive, "we'd rather have it dry than too much rain, so one good way to look at it is, well at least its not raining too much, and so far we aren't in serious trouble."
Since we are still early in the planting season, there is still time for rainfall. If conditions stay the same, a good irrigation system will come in handy this season.
Rhode Islands drought committee met Thursday morning and although ground water and stream flow are at record lows, we are still not in drought conditions. The committee will continue to monitor conditions closely.