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Sun is finally out, but damage to farmers may already be done

By Susan Bahorich, sbahorich@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 15 2013 05:17:19 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 17 2013 09:49:12 AM EDT

The rain is feeding the vines, but also fungus and mold.

BOTETOURT CO., Va. -

"They got black rot. In two days.. BOOM! You get black rot," says Barbara Kolb.

It's been a tough summer to be a farmer.
Especially if your crop is grapes.

"It's a challenge year, there's no doubt about it," says Kolb.

First it was a late spring frost, then beatles, and most recently it has been the rains.
Barbara Kolb of Blue Ridge Vineyard says they're all taking a toll on her crops.

Explains Kolb, "It's been challenging between the winds and the rain to get the time to put any kind of spray on to keep the fungus from eating the grapes and the leaves."

But Kolb and her husband have been growing grapes and running the vineyard for nearly 30-years.
They say even the smallest discovery is a positive one.

"See all the new leaves, they're coming out, they're happy."

And, you've got to take the good with the bad.

"The grapevine will keep growing and if we don't have a great crop this year -we've got next year," she says.

Kolb says the ideal weather for the grapes is hot and dry.

That being said, the weather we're having now, may be too little too late.

Kolb estimates half her crops have been damaged, that's compared to about 15-percent last year.

But says she won't know the extent of that damage for another 3-4-weeks.