Drought takes toll on Missouri wine grape crops

SMITHVILLE, Mo. - Baking temperatures and the lack of significant rain are hurting all kinds of crops across the Midwest - including wine grapes.

Recent rains came too late for one Smithville, Mo., vineyard owner. Galen Haddock of Ladoga Ridge Winery was forced to destroy his own crop of grapes to salvage his vines.

Haddock says this loss will set him back $8,000 in damages.

"If they would have had adequate moisture last month and the beginning of this month they would have been able to coast on through harvest," Haddock said.

To prevent future problems, Haddock plans to install an irrigation system.

But not all crops were lost, and Ladoga Ridge Winery still counts on producing wine from its four acres.

This wasn't the first time Haddock was forced to cut his crops early. Last year's batch was too young and Haddock said he had to cut them because he wanted them to mature.
 

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