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Droughts and Heat Waves

Record rains put sunflower selfies, summer watermelons at risk as Maryland farmers fight erratic weather

Record rains put sunflower selfies, summer watermelons at risk as Maryland farmers fight erratic weather

Joe Bartenfelder has been getting plenty of compliments on his produce from customers at the Baltimore Farmers’ Market this summer. Little do they know what a tough season it has been, he says.

“They say, ‘Everything looks good because I guess you’ve had a lot of rain!’ ” said Bartenfelder, a family farmer and Maryland’s agriculture secretary. “The problem is you’re not seeing everything that’s getting ruined.”

Record July rainfall — only the latest stressor in a season of erratic and extreme weather — is crimping Maryland’s agricultural output just...

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