Early June update on berry crops with drought conditions

NOW: Early June update on berry crops with drought conditions

NILES, Mich. -- It's been drier than average for Michiana, but berry crops are still looking normal for Lehman's Orchard.

66% of the Midwest has experienced abnormally dry conditions since May 30, with 32% of Midwesterners currently facing anywhere from moderate to exceptional drought conditions. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor released its newest weekly report detailing conditions across the continental United States today with the next report set to be released next week Thursday.

The coverage of abnormally dry conditions across the United States has increased and shows no signs of slowing down as of now.

The abnormal dry streak has forced farmers and orchards to step up usage of irrigation pumps in both frequency and coverage. Some crops, like strawberries and sweet cherries, are expected to have average yields this season.

Others, such as peaches and blueberries, are expected to withstand the effects of the drought and have bumper crop years for orchards across Michiana, producing higher than average yields regardless of the drier than average conditions.

No struggling flora here! Strawberries and Sweet Cherries are expected to have average yields this season.

The primary reason for the success of maintaining normal crop yields this season is increased usage of irrigation pumps and consistent rotation of water across the fields, both of which help in counteracting the negative effects of the drought across the Midwest. 

One of many irrigation canals dug at Lehman's Orchard that helps combat the drought conditions impacting Michiana

With strawberry season in full swing, the best time to pick depends on the kind of berry you want. For the best variety in strawberries, earlier in the day almost always tends to be more beneficial.

When looking for the juiciest berries, consider going during the warmest part of the day which ranges from 3-5 PM. Lehman's Orchard will have prepicked strawberries ready this Friday and will open up their "UPick" section next week.

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