Farmers are struggling to produce crops in the face of low rainfall levels which they say have plagued the Island for the past four years.
The average total rainfall for this time of year is 30.25 inches approximately 21.37 inches of rain have fallen so far.
The lack of rain has been pretty bad, said Roger Pacheco of Pacheco Farms. February, March and April were very dry, which left our potato yield down 70 percent.
May was extremely dry, then we got spoiled with some rain, then it was dry for another three weeks its been pretty devastating to the crops.
He said the farm had been forced to seek water from other sources.
Were on a drip irrigation system now, using the plastic wrap, and were also relying on Watlington [Waterworks] and our own wells.
Mr Pacheco has worked on the 80-acre farm since he was six years old. It usually produces around 30 types of crops including corn, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, carrots and pumpkins.
Last year we didnt get enough rain for the pumpkins, he said. This year we had them on drip irrigation so they did better. The last time we had a really good output of crops was about five years ago.
The last four years weve had drought conditions, so the crops havent been as good. Were having low crop yields, which means that importing produce is becoming more of a necessity.
Bert Smith of Windy Bank Farm in Smiths said his crops had also been affected by the dry conditions.
The 78-year-old has farmed all his life and comes from a family of farmers dating back 150 years.
Well, its caused our corn to dry up, he told The Royal Gazette. Weve [had some] rain now but Im not sure if the corn will bounce back. It has affected every farmer in Bermuda, Id say.
Mr Smith said the dry weather brought one surprise to Windy Bank Farm, which sits on eight acres of land off Middle Road: This year weve had the most avocado pears Ive ever seen in my life.
Our trees are full of them. I guess because of all the dry weather weve had theyve come out more because they like the dryness.
Ken Smith, of the Bermuda Weather Service, said it was impossible to determine how long the dry conditions might last.
How long will we remain below average rainfall? Again, that is impossible to answer, and in fact, getting back to average may not even be desirable depending on how that is achieved, he said.
In 2011 Bermuda received 40.57 inches of rainfall compared to an average of 56.91 inches. In 2010, Bermuda received 46.29 inches of rainfall.
So far in 2012, we have received 21.37 inches. However, note that in both May and June this year we were above average.
In June we received 5.5 inches compared to a June average of 5.03 inches and in May we received 4.36 inches compared to a May average of 3.01 inches.
I can only say that yes, both to date this year, and over the past couple of years, Bermuda has received less than the average amount of rainfall.
The position of the Bermuda-Azores high plays a big part in weather patterns here, the meteorologist explained.
If it is centred a little further East, moisture drawn West and North around the ridge could bring more rainfall to Bermuda than average.
If it is centred a little further West, this moisture would go around Bermuda and miss us to the West and North and the orientation of this high is constantly changing.
Farmer Tom Wadson described the conditions as challenging.
We have about an acre of water catch on the 240-acre farm, so thats good. We have 40 acres of crop land and 200 acres for the animals.
Were doing the best we can. Surprisingly were having astounding tomato crops, although this isnt their season.
The more moisture in the air means that it is less stressful for the plants. Were hanging in there were definitely not bored.
What we cant do with the plants, we make up with the animals. We sell eggs and sausage from the animals on our farm, as well as tomatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, beans, and cucumbers.
Our potato yields were down this year because of the lack of rain but everything else is doing fine.
Weve been having relatively good harvests because we have small projects [in reference to crop size] and we take care of our plants very well. These conditions have astounding results.
Meanwhile, water truckers say they havent seen that great a demand for their services yet.
Its not that busy yet but we expect the numbers to [increase sharply] as the summer goes on, said Donald Daniels of Double D Water Trucking. People are being money-conscious and trying to conserve their water, which means less work for us.
Now, we have to rely on a good reputation and reliability to beat the competition to the customers.
Darren DeSilva of Water Now Trucking said he also believed residents were making a greater effort at conserving water.
Weve been particularly busy over the last few weeks, he said. People are trying to conserve water; they are trying to cut back, but the methods they are using are not working.
Its like someone driving a car with just enough gas so that they dont run out; people are trying to order just enough water so that they dont run out.
This is posing a problem because when they run out it may be at an inconvenient time. For example, in the East End, the water is only available from the plant on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
If someone runs out on a Saturday in the East End, we drivers have to debate whether or not we should go all the way down there to deliver a load coming from Devonshire, because it burns fuel and tires at our cost.
Another example is that a typical family of four needs about 2,000 to 4,000 gallons of water to survive off of and are ordering 1,000 to 2,000 gallons.
Not only do they run out at inconvenient times, but they are also burning up their pumps and plumbing. These things are costing them money.
Allan Rance said Watlington Waterworks has a low demand currently due to heavy rains in recent months.
We have 500,000 gallons per day of reserve production capacity sitting idle at the moment, he said.