Crop Predictions Mixed In Schuylkill County
The area has had some wet weather the past week, but all the dry conditions before that are having an impact on some farms.
Some crops have been stunted in their growth because of the dry winter and spring. Farmers believe it all depends on what the crop is.
Farmer Jeff Hill said he is concerned about his wheat crop. It shows signs of a dry winter and spring.
“It’s been so dry in April that it stunted the growth and the wheat was at a standstill,” said Hill.
After the wheat is harvested, hay is left over and Farmer Hill predicts less income.
“So we’re lucky if we get a half a crop of wheat and behind that we have the straw which you bail behind that for landscaping or horse farms or whatever we won’t get get a half of a straw crop either,” Hill said.
Jeff Hill also grows Christmas trees and some are damaged from frost.
“Instead of selling a tree for a premium price, you’re going to sell it for $10, $12, $14 so with the frost they never bounce back,” said Hill.
B and R farms near Ringtown said they have benefited from the dry season.
Grower Morgan Hetherington predicts a bumper crop of strawberries and a early harvest. “Basically all the plants have thrown numerous blossoms this year, so it’s probably going to be a really good harvest this year. In a dryer winter it won’t grow mold as much so you need water for mold and fungus to grow, so we’re not going to see mildew,” said Hetherington.
Those at B and R Farms have installed an irrigation pipe. The spray was used to protect the plants from frost but because we can’t predict what nature will do, it will remain installed in case of a late frost.