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Rain comes too late for farmers

Newswatch 16's Claire Alfree talked with a farmer in Schuylkill County who says the recent rain came too late to help the dry conditions.

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. — These are just some of the animals that live at Honey Brook Farm outside Schuylkill Haven.

While the farm is known for raising livestock, owner Josiah Meck says the dry summer made feeding the livestock more difficult.

"We rely on grass year-round, and this year, we started off really good in the spring, but as summer came and the rain stopped, it became a hard summer with no grass to feed their animals," said Meck.

From changing the animal's feed to even moving half of his steers to another farm with more grass, Meck tried his best to overcome the lack of rain.

"Meat gains this summer have still been very slow, and actually, in some cases, in July, they lost weight instead of putting weight on, so that was really hard," said Meck.

While his farm took a hit, Meck feels the recent rain won't do much to help him or neighboring farms.

"For other farmers raising corn, soybeans, things like that, it's a little late. It can rain from now till harvest, but the damage has already been done. The fruit on the crops is not going to grow," said Meck.

Creating a financial loss for all farmers throughout Schuylkill County.

"Crop farmers, this year, you're looking at 60-70% of what you're used to getting. So on a good year, they're getting around here 150 bushels to the acre of corn. This year you're only getting 100 bushels to the acre, so that really cuts into the money," said Meck.

Meck says this dry summer took away the most important thing in agriculture moderation in all kinds of weather.

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