Posted by Fernanda Lopez, Producer/Reporter - email
Some local farmers are keeping a very close eye on that weather forecast, specially hay and cherry growers.
PASCO, WA - Some local farmers are keeping a very close eye on that weather forecast, especially hay and cherry growers.
Fortunately for them, it is looking like it is going to get dryer. Local hay farmers say once cutting season starts in May there is no stopping and this is definitely not the kind of weather they are hoping for, but they do expect it.
"It significantly reducing the quality of the hay," said Keith Middleton, Six Sons Farms.
Middleton grows hay in Pasco and says this is normal weather for this time of year and it has actually been treating them pretty well but it still hurts their pocket books when the hay gets damaged by the rain.
"Sometimes it can be reduced by 25 percent sometimes 50 percent and that is a big big chunk," Middleton explained.
He also said the rain makes the hay bleach and lose nutrients making it harder to sell.
The situation is not much different for cherries growers.
"It's been a little rough. It's right in the middle of cherry harvest and we've been picking for about five days and it's more annoying than anything it hasn't been a lot of rain but it's been enough just to keep us on our toes," explained Mark Nelson, Kamiak Vineyards.
Nelson grows cherries and says the moisture of the rain plus warm changes in weather before the cherries dry makes them split and once that happens...
"They're no good, they end up going in the garbage," he explained.
Plus growers end up losing money.
"Too much rain, the quality starts going down, cherries start getting a little soft and the buyers start getting a little hesitant about buying cherries," said Nelson.
Many growers have been working hard to get the cherries dry using helicopters.
"I think if we make it through tonight, I think we're going to be okay so far no splits but we're keeping our fingers crossed," concluded Nelson.