Editor’s Note: This is a good awareness story during Farm Show Week!
JEFFERSON TWP., PA – Will Keating looked at the depleted hay stockpile in his barn and thought about the impact on his dairy farm.
“It will cost us another $15,000 to $18,000 to get through the winter,” Mr. Keating said as his herd of 38 milking cows lounged in theMountCobbbarn. “The hay took a big hit and quality is down. It’s very frustrating.”
Drenching summer rainfall severely diminished production of forage crops, such as feed corn and hay, on many regional dairy farms. Months after the record-setting rains ceased, the shortfall forces dairy farmers to buy hay and feed they would not need after a normal growing season.
“My hay crop was the worst I ever had,” said Joe Davitt, a Waymart-area dairy farmer. “It’s going to cost me probably $2,000 a month to feed my cattle. In a normal winter, I don’t have any added expenses.”