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Hay Crops in Danger

SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY — These hot and humid weather conditions are taking a toll on farmers across the nation, including those in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

Cows at Castlemonte Farms near Montrose are trying to keep cool out in the pasture, and are sticking close together to keep away flies during the heat wave. But owner John Castrogiovanni said this year isn’t the toughest he’s seen since taking over in the 1940s.

“It`s not the worst yet. ’62 was the worst year for us. Last year was the worst year for rain,” said Castrogiovanni.

He said the corn crop is doing well, milk production is only slightly down and they have already cut hay several times, but if Mother Nature doesn’t help out soon, things may change.

“We`ve been able to harvest our first and second cutting, if we don`t get rain soon, the grass will be dormant,” said Castrogiovanni.

The Castrogiovanni`s said if this heat wave continues, they may not be able to cut another crop of hay from this field, and they`re not sure where they`ll go from there.

Castlemonte Farms owner Jean Castrogiovanni said, “The whole country is burning up so I don`t know where there would be any hay to give. It has a ripple effect about everything. I don`t know.”

Many farmers across the US are dealing with the worst drought since the 1950’s according to the National Climactic Data Center, creating higher feed prices and tougher times for farmers everywhere.

“You look at that map and it`s scary when mostly the entire country is the same way,” said Jean Castrogiovanni.

The Castrogiovanni’s said they’ll find a way to make it through just like every other year, but they’re hoping Mother Nature will be a little kinder in the weeks to come.


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