© 2023 Maine Public | Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

Maine hay farmers set back by wet June

Farmer Tom Johnston baling hay on a field in Montville that's in the Ag Allies program.
Murray Carpenter
Maine Public file
Farmer Tom Johnston baling hay on a field in Montville in 2022.

Maine experienced one of its wettest Junes, with nearly five inches of rain.

While last month's rainfall was favorable for Maine crops like blueberries, hay farmers are at a considerable disadvantage.

"Heavy rainfall has made it so we've made hardly any hay this year. Whenever it stops raining, the ground is going to be so wet, it's going to take weeks of drying to even get equipment back out there," says Scott Ferland, the owner of Ferland Farms in Poland, Maine. "Usually, we make 70,000 bales a year. We've made 1,000 so far."

In Maine, hay is typically harvested three different times: spring, midsummer and early fall.

Delayed hay harvests could mean a challenging or costly fall for some livestock farmers who may need to supplement their animals' food or source hay out of state.

Ferland said the most he can do is hope the sun starts shining soon.