Due to the unseasonably warm Winter, Farmers from across our area have begun planting earlier than normal. What could this mean for the upcoming Season? We spoke to two Farmers, one in Bedford County and another in Centre County. They both say this is the earliest Season they’ve planted for in a while.
Robert Lehman, Owner of Lehman Farms saying: “This year the weathers nice earlier than normal so lots of guys are planting, I’m sure.” Lehman is one of those guys who began planting earlier than normal this season. Lehman adding: “Its favorable weather. You take a chance, a gamble and try something anyhow. Maybe not everything but get a start on it.”
Lehman says at his 224 acre farm, they plant a bunch of different vegetables as well as wheat and oats. On Thursday, he began planting oats. Lehman saying: “Oats you should be done planting by the end of April and corn by the end of May, that’s your goal.” Lehman says the earlier you start planting, the better for harvest and sales. Although, he says it is risky. Lehman adding: “We could have a frost yet, we could and if the corn is up, it can really knock it back or even kill it if its hard enough. So that’s a lot of money wasted for seed, its about one hundred bucks an acre for seed, then you got to go in a replant.”
However, one farmer in Centre County has that taken care of. Jason Coopey, Owner of Way Fruit Farm saying: “This is so abnormally early. Normally we don’t plant till almost the end of April.” Coopey has everything planted as of Thursday. Coopey saying: “So today we just started planting our first corn of the season. We plant it under the plastic that actually acts like a little mini greenhouse to get the temperatures up.”
Coopey says normally this time of the year is cold and wet – and the weather could change over night, but his fruit trees can survive in the cold and the plastic he draped over his corn will keep them protected. Coopey adding: “Its perfect condition for planting, it just couldn’t be any better.”
Since these farmers were able to plant so early, they believe they will be able to sell their produce even before the Fourth of July – which is normally when everything is ready to go from the farm to the kitchen table.