Certain local Iowa crops thriving despite drought

Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 3:57 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The drought has had large impacts on Iowa crops this year, but not all the effects are negative.

Wilson’s Orchard & Farm, in Iowa City, said this season’s weather has been great for apples.

“That combination of hot days and cool nights, that’s what we love as an apple grower, you long for those kinds of days where, you know, the heat during the day builds sugars, the cooler at night builds color,” Paul Rasch, the owner of Wilson’s, said.

Wilson’s has over 100 different types of apples to be picked now through the end of October.

“We actually ended up with probably the best crop we’ve ever grown here at Wilson’s,” Rasch said.

The drought is not only positively impacting apples this season, pumpkins also have been able to thrive in the conditions.

“Pumpkins actually somewhat prefer it versus a wet year. I mean, obviously, in a wet year they’re gonna rot away,” Dean Colony, the owner of Colony Pumpkin Patch in North Liberty, said.

“It’s been perfect. And you see the color on them is really strong. The size is really good. The yield is really good on pumpkins. So we’re expecting a really good pumpkin crop,” Rasch said.

Rasch said the support from the community this season has been very encouraging.

“People coming to me and other people on the farm and saying, you know, how’s the drought affecting, you know, are you seriously concerned about and I think that’s a really a sign of our times that people are starting to really reconnect with local foods and saying, how does this weather not just affect me and my commute to work, but how does it affect local food production?” Rasch said.

Both Wilson’s and Colony will be celebrating fall activities all through October.

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