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2016 Drought Information and Resources

September 16, 2016

2016 Drought Status and Related Information - Sonia Schloemann, UMass Extension Fruit Program

MA Drought Map for 9-16-16 Drought conditions during the fruit ripening period mean that growers must be prepared to irrigate their plantings.  How much to irrigate depends somewhat on the soil type where the crop is growing (a silt loam will hold twice as much water as a sandy loam), the crop type (blueberries with shallow roots are more drought sensitive than grapes with deep roots), and also on the method of irrigation (drip irrigation looses less water to evaporation than does overhead irrigation).  The rule of thumb for most fruit is to aim for 1-2" of water per week to support crop sizing and ripening at this time of year (July).  There are many ways to calculate exact rates for all different combinations of crop, soil, and delivery system.  See resource list below for this information. Be sure that you are using a clean water supply.  And, if you are using a municipal water supply, be aware of water use restrictions that may apply.  See here for current Massachusetts water use restriction map. See:

Drought Damage Assistance Programs - State & Federal



Weather, Soil Moisture Assessment, Water Management and Irrigation Resources


Soil Moisture Assessment

Water Management



Apple Irrigation Model - NEWA


Irrigating Blueberries - MSU
Drought Stress in Blueberries - MSU