Farm Crop Forecast Looks Optimistic
Last year's unusually mild winter posed some challenges to farmers in the region. But this year's more typical winter, with consistent snow cover and some extended cold snaps, has been a welcome change to many. Nancy Hansen, farm manager at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, says mild temperatures and little snow last winter made for more pest problems on her farm.
"A lot more rabbits, a lot more mice, a lot more insects and my hope is we'll get back to keeping those things under control with a colder, snow covered winter."
Hansen says with the exception of February's blizzard, this winter has been fairly uneventful, but colder, which she says could make for an easier planting and growing season. But she says its impossible to predict how crops will fare. Hansen says she's hoping for consistent weather this summer.
"A boring growing season would be nice. No droughts. No constant rain. It doesn't seem like we have those quote unquote boring years very often anymore and that would kinda be nice.
Hansen says most farmers in western Massachusetts spend March preparing for the soil to be ready to plant crops. She says the start of planting varies based on weather conditions and the types of soils on individual farms.