Farmers say they struggled across the Keystone State in 2022 due to drought, inflation and labor issues.
So, what are farmers expecting this year’s yield to look like?
We visited a Bedford County farm today where they say farming was challenging in 2022, but they are optimistic it will be better this year.
Matthew Boyer is the President of Boyer Orchards in Bedford County, and he says last year was a decent harvest season.
“We got lucky with the weather, you know, didn’t rain everyday so we couldn’t go out and harvest, but you know, it’s not much we can do about inflation, The fuels up, our fertilizer and chemicals there up, the labor, you know, it jumped up”.
“It was in the two-dollar range for off road diesel before for our tractors and now it was, I think it peaked at five dollars and nine cents a gallon, but now it’s back to four”.
The Boyers say they have already began searching for alternative fuel and fertilizer, but discovered every product is relatively around the same price.
“We might have watched our fuel usage a little bit, but we can only limit that so much because we still have to be, you know, out on our equipment,”
Besides the equipment used across the farm the Boyer’s say they depend on manual labor and the lack thereof has caused them to struggle this past harvest season.
“Cause we need people to hand harvest our fruit and our H-2A labor we have to advertise in the paper about help and well only get six or eight individuals a season and we need 40 people you know, to make the thing work”.
But what could be more important than the labor is the weather.
“Anybody in agriculture is at the mercy of the weather, It’s a good thing whenever the weather cooperates, and everything goes right”.
He said they don’t get busy until the weather starts warming up and that’s when they’ll have a better idea of what this farming season will look like.