After floods, UVM soil testing hasn’t found major contaminants at commercial farms
Since recent flooding affected commercial farms in Vermont, owners have been testing their land for contaminants.
Chris Callahan is an agricultural engineer with the University of Vermont Extension.
He's been testing soil samples from nine commercial farms across the state, looking for petroleum residue, bacteria and parasites.
So far, Callahan says his team hasn't found any major contaminants that won't be fixed by natural bacteria die-off.
"We really haven't found anything significantly concerning at this point. So I think people can rest easy," Callahan says.
Callahan says farmers learned a lot after Tropical Storm Irene, like the importance of pulling any produce that came into contact with floodwaters from the food chain.
He says he's most interested in being prepared for future flooding. He plans to do so through continued soil testing this time around.
"We're planning to take samples every 30 days, going out 120 days, if possible, depending on weather, and just better understanding these dynamics so we can be more responsive and more supportive next time around," Callahan says.
Callahan says this year's flooding was early enough to give some farmers time to replant.
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