Drought has affected fresh produce supply at farmers markets

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MILWAUKEE -- Shoppers say they're finding there is less to choose from when it comes to acquiring fresh produce at farmers markets this summer, due to the drought.

For years, Mark Yang has been selling his produce at the Westown Farmer's Market in downtown Milwaukee. This year, he's only grown a quarter of what he typically grows, and Mother Nature is to blame.

"I have crop failures all over. Nothing is growing, and when they grow, it seems like they are slowly growing. It has impacted me a lot, and I think I speak for most of the farmers out here," Yang said.

The lack of rain this summer has been devastating for Wisconsin farmers.

Farmer Erin Klink says she only has half the corn supply she did last year because when corn is pollinating, it needs an inch of rain every few days.

"You`ll find ears of corn, but only half of it will have kernels on it, or the kernels will be really spotty because it didn`t allow the corn to pollinate correctly," Klink said.

Many flower growers haven't been impacted as dramatically, as long as the flowers are consistently watered.

Some shoppers say despite the drought, they're still eager to head to the farmers market and take in whatever fresh produce is available.

"It tastes so much better -- like tomatoes for example. Tomatoes at the store versus tomatoes at the farmers market -- there`s no comparison," Kate Strzok said.

The Westown Farmers Market is open every Wednesday at Zeidler Union Square Park from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. through October 31st.