Loudon County farmers have less hay for cattle because of rain

Loudon County farmers have less hay for cattle because of wet weather

Posted:
Hay cannot be used if it isn't kept dry because of the risk of mold. Hay cannot be used if it isn't kept dry because of the risk of mold.
"It's delayed the harvesting of my hay crop," said Loudon County farmer Joe Alexander. "The later in the season that we harvest the crop, the lower the quality it is." "It's delayed the harvesting of my hay crop," said Loudon County farmer Joe Alexander. "The later in the season that we harvest the crop, the lower the quality it is."
Another issue with the extra rain is an increase in insects on the cattle. Another issue with the extra rain is an increase in insects on the cattle.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

LOUDON (WATE) -  A wet spring and a wet start to summer are adding up to a serious problem for area cattle farmers.

"It's delayed the harvesting of my hay crop," said Loudon County farmer Joe Alexander. "The later in the season that we harvest the crop, the lower the quality it is."

Alexander said he would have already cut his hayfield if it hadn't been for the rain. He says if you cut hay before it matures, it can keep it's nutrients. But if you wait too long, the hay is worthless.

It takes a couple of days for the grass to dry out before it is cut.

Another problem is mold. If you can not keep your hay dry it cannot be used.

The rain is also causing an issue with insects.

"Flies are a huge problem, as well as mosquitoes," said Loudon County UT Ag Extension agent John Goddard. "Flies probably impact the cattle industry more than anything else."

Goddard said they are anticipating a third more flies this year. The most common disease they spread to cattle is pink eye.

Many farmers spray insecticides on their cattle to combat the problem.

"I have a tank, carry it on my back," said Alexander. "It has a sprayer and pump to it. I can spray the animals."

All of the farmers 6 News spoke with say the weather is always a gamble.

"There is never an average year," explained Goddard. "Last year, we were a foot behind on water. This year, we are a foot ahead on water. We would rather have the water than a drought."

Farmers say a majority of the corn crop has been planted this year, but that there has been a delay in planting the soybean crop due to the wet weather.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.