Watch: Farmers Face Dry Weather, No Relief
It's not common in northern New York, but at least one north country farmer has switched the way he keeps his crops wet to 'drip irrigation.'
Jay Canzonier spent $40,000 on a drip irrigation system this spring - a lot of money, but an investment that maximizes the good water does for his 20 acre vegetable farm in Belleville.
"We have to be able to protect the crop through dry times," Canzonier told 7 News.
Standard irrigation uses the large, industrial equivalent of your lawn sprinkler. It puts out a lot of water, and everything gets wet.
Drip irrigation takes a more measured approach: Cazonier has thin lines (called 'tape') that run next to the plants. Small holes in the lines direct the water where it will do the most good, allowing "us to irrigate just the plant roots without having to irrigate the whole field," he explained.
He is helped by the presence of a small creek, which provides enough water for the system. But the creek has limits and Canzonier is hoping for rain, as is Liz Lassen, who operates a dairy farm.
"We're running low on water for the cows, so we're digging a new well," Lassen said Wednesday.
The cost? $2,400.
The bad news? No significant rain is forecast for the next five days.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013, Watertown, NY
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