Farmers stay optimistic during stable drought conditions
The dry weather is wreaking havoc on farms across the area. The drought makes it difficult to keep livestock alive as well as to get crops to grow.
Drought conditions are slowly improving in the Central and Northeast part of the state with all the moisture they've been seeing, but is it enough and fast enough for farmers to help their livestock and crops this year?
"The corn and beans are still I think salvageable if we get some rain here in June and July. We'll still be able to get some crop there, but the wheat looks like it's all going to feed there," says Darrell Davis, a fifth-generation farmer at Davis Farms in Ipswich.
Farm Service Agency Potter County Executive Director Kay Schmidt hasn't heard of any farmers in her area doing a complete herd liquidation because of the drought. However, she has heard of producers culling heavier than normal trying to maintain the grass out in their pastures.
As for crops, winter wheat isn't a huge concern for some areas.
"There's gonna be less and less acres of that as it is. People are going into a corn and bean rotation, but we are a spring wheat county and it is frustrating for them to not see that first crop," explains Schmidt.
Farmers will continue to stay positive about the drought conditions across the state. Many see it as part of the job that they're in. Many of them have seen droughts before and know some years are great while others aren't.
The hopes of better conditions are in everyone's minds. Davis is hoping July will have above normal precipitation so crops can have a chance this year as well as pastures. One day of rain won't cut it, but some downpour lasting a few days might be the magic touch.
The Farm Service Agency is working with Farmers across the area to make sure they're able to keep as much land and livestock as possible. There are plenty of programs to help farmers dealing with a drought, but may not provide immediate assistance.
If you want more information on these programs or to find your county office, follow the links to the right of the article.