Soggy July tied for 10th rainiest, but farmers aren’t complaining

Rainfall totals at Albany International Airport put last month in a tie for 10th place on the list o
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Categories: Schenectady County

Rainfall totals at Albany International Airport put last month in a tie for 10th place on the list of the rainiest Julys in recorded history, according to the National Weather Service.

Meteorologist George Maglaras on Friday said a total of 6.94 inches of rain was measured last month, nearly twice the average of 3.5 inches.

“It ties for 10th place on the wettest July lst,” Maglaras said.

June wasn’t as momentous, but it was also wet, Maglaras said, with 5.45 inches of rain dropping compared with the average for June of 3.74 inches.

“June didn’t make it anywhere near the top 10,” Maglaras said.

Town of Florida crop farmer James Gasner said recent weather has been helpful, aside from the difficulty rain creates for baling hay.

“Crops are doing excellent,” Gasner said, referring to corn and soybeans.

“We’ve had the right weather, we’ve had the heat, we’ve had the rain. It’s perfect,” Gasner said.

“It’s good for everything growing, but trying to make hay is just about impossible,” Gasner said.

The rain makes fields more difficult to work on, and the hay hasn’t been dry enough to bale, Gasner said.

A wet July is yielding mixed results for backyard gardens so far, said Crystal Stewart, horticulture and agriculture extension educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Fulton and Montgomery counties.

“It’s been good and bad. We’ve seen a lot of really excellent growth in cases where people had good drainage and a nice site for their gardens,” Stewart said.

People who planted their gardens in low-lying areas are having issues, Stewart said.

“Some people have started to lose things. If you have standing water for even over eight hours in a certain spot you can start to see some root death,” Stewart said. Excessive water prevents roots from getting sufficient oxygen, Stewart said.

In all, Stewart said she believes the rainfall has been beneficial for home gardens.

Stewart said it’s unclear if the weather is responsible for frequent calls she’s received about people’s tomatoes.

“It’s been a very strange year for certain things. The tomatoes are staying green so long and I can’t really tell you why,” Stewart said.

“Everybody is having problems with tomatoes. The tomatoes look great; they’re just not ripening,” Stewart said.

Stewart said it’s possible a spell of drier, warmer weather may help the tomatoes “ripen right up.”

Though it’s unclear what August will bring, Maglaras said it’s likely to start out with a rainy weekend.

“There’s another system coming through [today]. It could be relatively wet. It’s a fairly energetic system, so there could be a lot of showers around, even some thunderstorms,” Maglaras said.

“It’s a pretty good chance that just about everyone will get some showers tomorrow,” Maglaras said Friday.

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