Unseasonably Warm Weather Gives Farmers a Boost

Written By: Renata Stiehl

Farmers Get Jump Start on Planting

Warm Weather Helping Farmers
SPENCER (WENY) -- The warm weather we've been having lately seems almost too good to be true. But after last year's devastating floods, the "winter that wasn't" is proving to be a godsend to local farmers.
     "We couldn't have asked for any more problems than we had last year, so this year's gotta be better than last year," said Tioga County Farm Bureau President Kevin Frisbie.
     Frisbie's crops suffered major damage last year, due to heavy rains and flooding caused by Tropical Storm Lee. Six months later, he's taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to get a jump start on this year's planting. A month ahead of schedule, it's a far cry from this same day last year, when parts of the Southern Tier were under a foot of snow.
     "This warm weather and dry weather certainly helps farmers get crops in earlier from a year ago, we weren't even thinking about it yet," said Frisbie.
     Today, Kevin's getting his field in Spencer ready to plant oat, alfalfa and timothy. He says last September's heavy rains and flooding wiped out local crops, costing farmers thousands of dollars. He's hoping this early planting can help farmers recoup some of those losses.
      "Generally you can buy some from a neighbor, but this year it's just not there, no one had an abundance of crops, so getting the crops in early will certainly benefit all the farmers in the local area," he said.
As president of the Tioga County Farm Bureau, Frisbie knows all to well how last year's weather impacted local agriculture.
     "A lot of farmers in this area, especially in tioga county lost a lot of feed that was that was never harvested or it was damaged and unable to be harvested due to the Tropical Storm Lee," he said.
     For now, he's not looking a gift horse in the mouth. Frisbie says this weather is giving farmers a 30 day head start on the growing season, and he has 600 acres to tend to. Even if we get a frost or heavy rain as we head into April, Frisbie says oat is hearty enough to survive.