New Jersey is in a drought; farmers say they don’t mind

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The state Department of Environmental Protection has determined New Jersey is officially in a drought.

But some of New Jersey’s farmers say that there are some benefits to the drier weather. They say that they are collecting exceptional crops due to the dry spell.

The farmers at Alstede Farm in Chester say that the continuous heat has been a welcome sight after a wet spring. They say that the fall fruits and vegetable crops are close to perfect due to the dryness.

“We thrive when it’s a little bit drier,” says Kurt Alstede.

Alstede says that the brightness of his fruits and vegetables do not come by chance, but by the dry conditions.

“This year we have sun. This year we have cool nights in September, which also help the coloring on the apples. So, much brighter coloring on the fruit this year,” he says.

And while New Jersey may be in a drought, state officials say that it is not enough to issue water restrictions. Reservoirs statewide are in good shape.

There are, however, resections on campfires in state parks to cut down on the threat of forest fires.

But Alstede says that he will keep the dry weather for a while. He says that a large amount of rain last year hurt his business.

Alstede says that his area saw 72 inches of rain, which normally there are only 42 inches of rain. He says that the dampness led to weak crop and fewer people coming to pick apples or pumpkins.

"You can always add water but you cannot take it away,” he says.

To explain how wet it was, Alstede says that before the end of July, he hadn’t irrigated his fields in over a year.

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