Climate change stresses New Jersey farmers

Farmland in Kingwood, NJ

AMANDA OGLESBY / ASBURY PARK PRESS / NORTHJERSEY.COM – Grapes are delicate fruits — it doesn’t take much to ruin a harvest.

That’s why Nicolaas Opdam, expert grape grower and winemaker at Laurita Winery in the New Egypt section of Plumsted, is paying so much attention to the weather.

Recent years have forced Laurita to put more labor and more money into protecting its grape harvest compared to years past, said Opdam, who has made wine for 46 years.

Opdam said more severe and more frequent rainstorms along with hotter summers are bringing new challenges to growing grapes in New Jersey.

“The climate has changed,” said the 68-year-old winemaker …

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