Wet Spring Dampens Fall Harvest

Staff Writer

A wet spring and summer is causing farmers to project lower than normal hay, corn and produce harvests this fall. A warm and sunny fall could help farmers recover more hay with a late cut. While August was drier the cycle of rain every few days was keeping some fields to wet to drive equipment on.
“Most people with produce are a month behind,” Vermont Farm Bureau President Joe Tisbert said in an interview. “The crops are not as good because we can’t keep nutrients in the soil.”
Tisbert has heard farmers predict a 40 percent loss of corn. There are areas of the state where the corn is only waist high. The weather has less impact on farmers who make round bales, which don’t need to be dried out.
“There’s a lot of ruts out there,” District Conservationist David Blodgett said. Employed at the United States Department of Agriculture in Newport, Blodgett said the rain affects plant growth depending on soil types. Addison County with a lot of clay is experiencing the greatest impact with the excess rainfall.
“You can see the difference in the corn,” Blodgett said. “Some of it is a couple of feet high; they can’t percolate the clay soil.” (Read the full story Tuesday in the NDE)