Hot weather welcome sight to hay producers

LONOKE, Ark.(KTHV) - The weather this summer has been a mixed bag for farmers in Arkansas. The cooler temperatures were great for some, while others are embracing this heat.

While most of us have been enjoying this cooler than normal summer, hay producers like Matt Flynt of Lonoke have been wishing for the mid-90s.

Flynt says cooler temperatures during June and July slowed down the growth of grass used for baling hay.

"The soil moisture has been great but we just hadn't had quite enough heat this year."

Flynt says the next couple of weeks will be crucial for hay producers trying to cash in on forage before days get shorter.

"We have to have stretches of dry weather for a week or two at a time to get in and get the field harvested."

Flynt says that hay production has been slowed down so much by the cooler weather his barn that's usually full this time of year is half-empty.

"Most of us are really behind on our cutting because like I said the grass just hasn't quite grown as good as normal."

Normally Flynt says this 20 acre hay field would have already been cut, raked and baled 4 times this year, but that number has been cut in half.

"We would love to have 8 weeks, at least 6 to 8 weeks of warmer weather. The trick is we need the moisture to come with it."

Flynt says despite the slowdown in production there will be enough forage for the colder months.

He credits the reduction of cattle herds from the drought helping to offset lower hay production.


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