Torrential Rain is Damaging Farmers’ Crops

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WAYNE TOWNSHIP -- Living in Pennsylvania, we're used to summer storms, but some of the torrential downpours over the past few weeks have farmers begging for a break.

Michael Scheidel owns Little Peace Farm near Schuylkill Haven.

"I made a promise not to complain about the weather because there's nothing I can do about it. I've broken that promise maybe once or twice."

He said weather the past few weeks has been rough on his crops. The soaked soil makes it too hard to plant anything new and the stuff already in the ground can get damaged.

"We practice organic growing methods, so we don't use conventional sprays. That means disease is on its way," said Scheidel.

All this rain is great if you're a weed, but if you're a farmer who has to be out in the field, it really becomes a mental game: you versus Mother Nature.

Scheidel said, "You're just out in the slop, you know, harvesting in the rain."

Stands that sell the crops, like Martin's Farm Market near Schuylkill Haven, are seeing the impact of the rain.

The local strawberries are already done for the year.

"Last year it probably lasted a good six weeks. This year it was only about two and a half weeks," said Jason Zimmerman, owner of Martin's Farm Market.

Sellers are preparing for more bad crops.

"The worst thing is going to be a lot of fungus and blights on tomatoes and things like that," said Zimmerman.

If it stays wet, it could prevent the fall harvest.

Scheidel said, "Now we're waiting to get winter squash in the ground, pumpkins, more lettuces and carrots, things that you direct seed and we just can't."

In the meantime, farmers are just hoping for some sunshine.

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