Slow start to growing season could cost you money

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COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) Wet weather is delaying crops and giving farmers in our region a tough time.

Our Ike Bendavid visited farms Wednesday to find out how the slow start might affect you.

Everything is usually well in the ground by mid-June but it's a different story this year.

At Sam Mazza's in Colchester, the annual pick your own strawberry festival is this weekend. It's a summer tradition that will have some changes this year because there are not enough strawberries yet.

And it's not just at Mazza's, many different crops statewide are suffering.

The fields at Mazza's normally have bigger strawberries by the middle of June.

"These strawberries that are really small are a crop that-- this is probably something that you harvest for two weeks," Laurie Bombard said.

Which means those who want the taste of summer are going to have to wait.

"We definitely have to be patient," said Jason Munn of Colchester.

"They call, they want to pick strawberries. It's all about summer and that has been delayed," Bombard said.

Bombard says it's not just the berries. The wet weather and days without sun are leaving an impact on the entire farm.

"All of our normal crops have been planted, just some have been more affected than others depending on the amount of water," Bombard said. "I don't remember another season that was this late."

"It's just spiraling," said Heather Darby, an agronomist for UVM. "Every crop-- there is no crop that is loving it right now."

Darby travels all around the region working with farmers.

"In many, many years I have never seen a year like this," she said.

Darby says that farmers are over two weeks behind, no matter what their crops are.

"Generally, we would have corn mostly planted by the end of May and we are just finishing up planting now," Darby noted.

She says some vegetable farmers are able to stay ahead by using greenhouses to grow their crops but the delay in the season is nationwide.

And you could feel it the next time you go shopping.

"They might see grocery prices go up," Darby said. "All kinds of things are going to be impacted by this weather."

Back at Mazza's, Bombard says it might be a shorter season but with a little bit of warmer weather, it still can be a success.

"I expect that it will probably be an average season once it starts," she said.

Mazza's 23rd annual Strawberry Festival is still going on this weekend and you can buy berries, you just can't pick them. Mazza's says picking is at least still another week away.