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Hay farmers in Maine struggle with very wet July

Hay farmers need enough time. Some say 3 days with no rain for hay to fully dry before it can be put away.

CORINTH, Maine — Being a farmer can be a pretty tricky job but being a hay farmer can be even trickier in the summer because you need to have help from mother nature.

But this year hay farmers said they didn’t get that help. Both Portland and Bangor recorded the third wettest July on record. Hay farmers need enough time. Some said three days with no rain for hay to fully dry before it can be bailed up and put away in barns. If not, farmers said it can get moldy and can't be feed to animals. 

Rick Speed is a third-generation hay farmer from Corinth and has been doing it for more than 30 years. 

In a perfect season, he said, they would start cutting in mid-June and try and put it in the barn by mid-July. 

Credit: NCM

Speed said they have also been trying to dry it by machine behind a tractor to help the process out but it's been tough. 

"Last year it was wicked dry so we didn’t have a hay crop," said Speed. "This year the hay crops are back to semi-normal but I can’t get it in because every other day is raining. We have to wait for the weather. I mean the hay is gone by now so the nutrients are not in it like they would be if you had in early July but you have to get the fields cleared, so we’ll clear them eventually once we can get a break in the weather and we can get it all put in."

Speed said he will be watching the forecast closely to try and get the rest of his crop in.