Farmers report healthy hay crop

Posted July 26, 2010, at 12:21 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Cattle and dairy farmers in central Maine say ideal weather is giving them a bumper hay crop.

Dale Cole, a dairy farmer in Sidney, tells the Kennebec Journal that his crop is the best he’s seen in years.

That’s in contrast to last year, when a rainy spring and early summer forced many farmers to push back their harvests from May to July.

Rick Kersbergen, of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Waldo County, said the nutritional value of much of last year’s crop was poor, forcing dairy farmers to supplement their cows’ diets with expensive grain.

This year’s crop will cut costs for cash-strapped farmers because they won’t have to supplement their hay with grain.