‘I want to cry’: Heavy rain falls while talking with Confreda Farms about dire drought

Confreda says in his over 40 years in the farming industry-- he's never seen a summer as dry as this one.

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) — Vincent Confreda’s alarm clock goes off at 2:15 every morning.

It’s an earlier than usual wake up time this summer, so he can head out to his family owned farm, Confreda Farms, and tend to the struggling crops — from the state’s dire drought condition.

“We’ve probably lost close to 100 acres of corn at this point,” Confreda said, elaborating that corn requires the most water to grow.

Confreda said in his over 40 years in the farming industry — he’s never seen a summer as dry as this one.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared a drought disaster for the state, something that has not happened in years. This frees up money for farmers to be considered for low interest, emergency loans.

Confreda said he definitely will be applying for a loan adding “this year I’m a bit afraid, because I don’t think we’re gonna get enough back in revenue to cover our expenses.”

The family owned farm had to drop major accounts this summer like Whole Foods and Wegmans because it doesn’t have enough flourishing crops, like corn, to sell to any other place than its own location.

In the middle of talking — down came the rain we’ve all been waiting for.

“Some call this pennies from heaven, I call it dollars from heaven. I can’t even put it into words, I want to cry. This is my livelihood,” Confreda joyfully explains.

While Tuesday’s rain was crucial, it’s not enough to bring us out of the drought. Over 99% of Rhode Island is listed in an extreme drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is updated every Thursday for every state.

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