Bristol hay farmer explains challenges with this year’s crop

Local News

BRISTOL TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – The lack of a dry stretch is posing somewhat of a problem for hay farmers.

It’s Alison McKinley’s second year growing, cutting and baling hay at her farm off Thompson Clark Road in Bristol. She was able to get about two acres cut and baled last weekend but still has more to do.

McKinley says they’ve been “dancing in between raindrops” trying to get the job done. Ed Agler, director of the Trumbull County Agriculture and Family Education Center, says hay farmers typically have finished their first cut by now, but with the recent rain we’ve seen, that just hasn’t happened this year.

“Last weekend, I was supposed to try to cut Saturday and bail Monday. With the rain coming in on Monday, I ended up trying to do it Friday after work, so it was a tight squeeze, but we got it done,” McKinley said.

Agler says if cut hay gets wet it washes away the nutrients and can become moldy.

“Every time we get three days prediction or four days of dry weather, ultimately it ends up raining, and that just creates a problem for everybody in the fields,” Agler said.

McKinley says the best conditions for working with hay are when the ground and the hay are dried out.

“It’s like when you cut your grass and the grass is wet. It just is not good for the equipment. It can plug up. It’s just not a good time,” McKinley said.

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