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Mass. Farmers And Fishermen Fear Hurricane Irene

Massachusetts farmers and fishermen are bracing for potentially big losses if Hurricane Irene slams New England.

Out in Hadley, farmer Allan Zuchowski harvested his tobacco this week so the storm couldn’t destroy it. But that’s not an option for apple growers, whose picking season is just getting underway.

"It’s certainly not good timing for them," said Russell Powell of the New England Apple Association.

Massachusetts agriculture is a half-billion dollar industry.

Meanwhile, aquaculture producers are preparing, too. Oyster grower Jack Blake of Sweet Neck Farm in Edgartown says the storm surge can tangle lines and bury his oyster cages in sand.

"Then the oysters would suffocate within, probably, hours," Blake said.

Blake has spent all Friday hauling in equipment.

Irene Coverage:

This program aired on August 26, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Curt Nickisch Twitter Business & Technology Reporter
Curt Nickisch was formerly WBUR's business and technology reporter.

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