Farm Loses Entire Pumpkin, Hay Crops After Severe Storm Brings Downpours, Hail

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BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP -- The afternoon storms absolutely pummeled northeastern and central Pennsylvania, including parts of Susquehanna County, which was especially hard hit.

A farm near Montrose lost its entire crop after being slammed by hail.

“When the hail hit, it tore holes in the leaves and broke the stems, so as you can see, this is a complete loss that we'll never recover,” said Michael Pettit.

Pettit, an employee at the Starzec Farm near Montrose surveyed the damage left behind after severe thunderstorms brought heavy rain and hail Monday.

“Tore holes in the stems and it damaged parts of the vine on some of these. It's impossible for it to grow,” said Pettit.

A 15-acre field was growing pumpkins and Pettit says the crop was looking really good. They were expecting a good yield.

“So this field right here is supposed to be our best field of the year because we never used it for pumpkins before, so it had the most nutrients,” said Pettit.

Now owner George Starzec calls that field a total loss.

“Tens of thousands of dollars worth in that field,” said Starzec. “I mean, we sell them all over the place. We sell them up the road here to a major supplier. We have a stand right here. My cousin's got a stand at his place, and I don't know what we're going to do.”

And the hail ruined more crops at the Starzec Farm. A six-acre field full of hay was flattened.

Now Pettit says they won't be able to sell it.

“Now because of the rain, it's going to be almost impossible to bale,” said Pettit. “There's a chance it could recover, but not good.”

Pettit sent Newswatch 16 cell phone video he shot when the storm was at its worst, showing the road by the farm covered with rushing water.

“This was about 5 o'clock when it was raining really hard here, and the road just completely washed out, flooded,” said Pettit. “Just a complete washout. People weren't even trying to cross it, just turning around.”

Starzec says the storm came in fast and all he could do was watch.

“Kind of disheartening when you got 15 acres that are just ruined in 15 minutes, you know?”

As for what they plan to do for money, the owner of the farm says in the past they've bought crops from another supplier and sold those at the farm stands.


  • TypicalLiberal

    Psh who needs farms, just get your food at the store like us normal people. Racist hillbilly sister loving farmers.

    • El Ma

      I have no political or social affiliations, you idiot. “… normal people?” LOL!!!!!! You’re about as normal as every other ignorant hipster.

      • TypicalLiberal

        Your opinion differs from mine so you’re a racist, homophobe, islamophobe, sexist, Trump loving snowflake

      • TypicalLiberal

        Wow… typical hate speech. You cant prove me wrong so you devolve into derogatory slurs

      • El Ma

        TypicalLiberal, please……..pretty, please. Define, “hate speech.” Did your feelings get hurt, or you feel a little uncomfortable because it struck close to the mark? Hate speech. LOL!!!

        What I “hate” is that farmers work harder than you (or, I) ever will, and that they eke out a living solely on the whims of Nature.

        “Hate speech.” Pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffft

  • El Ma

    Hang in there, Starzec Farm. Being an independent farmer is one of the most unsung and unappreciated callings across the world. It’s no easy task to eke out a living from the soil. There are folks out there that understand this.

    What a daggoned shame.

  • seen it all

    Ruined hay ? come on , its grass . Ruined is cutting it and rotting in rain before baling ( its a banner year for hay) And the pumpkin , will most likely grow quite fine despite the damage . Farmers like to complain and say how poor they are .

      • El Ma

        Pardon me, but I’m what could be termed a “flat lander.” I grew up on the east coast in the middle of peanut, cotton, and livestock country. It’s not a “flat lander” that doesn’t “get it” about hay being destroyed by hail. It’s someone who doesn’t understand agriculture.

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