Reporting Michele Fiore
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ALTO PASS, Ill. (CBS) — Believe it or not, the drought has one benefit for Illinois farmers – this year’s crop of peaches may taste sweeter than last year’s.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Michele Fiore reports, drought conditions are keeping downstate farmers on their toes this summer. But one peach farmer in Union County – in deep Southern Illinois south of Carbondale – says the lack of rain brings out the natural sweetness of the average peach.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Michele Fiore reports
Wayne Sirles, vice president of Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass, tells the Southern Illinoisan that without the rain, the natural sugars in the fruit have been left undiluted.
Of course, tastier peaches doesn’t mean the drought is anything remotely resembling good news overall. Sweeter peaches do not mean more peaches, and moreover, peaches are not used as feed for livestock and you can’t turn them into ethanol for fuel either.
For crops such as corn, which serves both of those purposes, the drought has been bad news indeed – particularly in deep Southern Illinois. The rainfall totals for the area have been more than a foot below normal, the newspaper reports.
The U.S. Drought Monitor has most of Illinois in drought conditions, with far southern Illinois rated in an extreme drought.
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