Farmers losing crops from lack of rain this summer

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WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Farmers in central Pennsylvania are feeling the effects of severe drought conditions.

Those conditions include much of central Pennsylvania.
A large portion of Lycoming County and nearly all of Clinton County are experiencing severe drought conditions as they prepare to harvest.

Local farmers say the lack of rain will be taking a big toll on their crop yield and their bottom line.

“Coming in from 30 to 50 bushel per acre, and normal for our area here would be 45 to 75 bushel per acre. So you can tell there’s a considerable difference, and it makes an awful lot to the bottom line,” Farmer Bob More said.

Mired in one of the worst droughts in years, farmers in central Pennsylvania are bracing for a sizeable hit to their crop yield. More grows soybeans and corn, telling Eyewitness News a decrease in crop prices over the last decade had already made things difficult.

“Very tough to manage on those prices, especially when we’re having a lower yield this year. To be able to upkeep your equipment, and do replacement costs,” More said.

The poor conditions drying up as much as a quarter of More’s expected output.

“As yield goes, for the whole thing, we’re probably gonna be down 20 to 25 percent on yield per acre,” More said.

Scott Moore is the chairman of the Farm Service Agency’s Lycoming County Committee. He says poor conditions, including an early frost that ruined about half of his tomatoes, is impacting the size of area crops as well.

“Soybeans, the size of the beans are about like BB’s this year, instead of full size. So they’re only running about 40 bushel an acre instead of 60, 65,” Moore said.

While Moore says modern crops can endure tougher conditions, farmers will ultimately be forced to make tough decisions.

“Well it’s definitely going to hurt everybody. Like I said before, you just got to cut back on your spending. That’s what most farmers do. If you don’t have the income, you just cut back. You just make do with what you have,” Moore said.

Now, one thing both farmers told Eyewitness News with harvest imminent, at this point rain wouldn’t do anything to help this year’s yield. That rain really needed to come in the summer months, and this area was down over two and a half inches from June to August.

For more details on this season’s drought, Click Here.

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