WESTAMPTON, N.J. (CBS) – The heat and lack of rain are both playing a role in the struggles of this region’s farmers.

Still, nothing is more certain than uncertain weather, says Raymond Samulis, head of the Burlington County Extension Department.

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From cool and wet in spring to hot and dry now, Mother Nature provides challenges that farmers have to meet depending on what they’re growing.

Samulis says fruits and vegetables are often irrigated in times of drought, which adds cost — and exhaustion for growers.

“It’s not uncommon for farmers, when they’re reallly in a really dry situation, to irrigate 24 hours a day,” he tells KYW Newsradio, “which means that they stay up 24 hours a day and catch a short nap in the truck here and there.”

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Samulis says one of the county’s main crops, cranberries, is irrigated not only to keep them moist but to keep them cooler to prevent “sun scald.”

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060


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