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Weather And Coronavirus Take A Toll On This Year's Corn Crop

HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) - We haven't gotten rain in quite a while, and it's taking a toll on this year's corn crop.

No rain and heat are a huge issue, however cold weather and coronavirus have also been a big part of it as a well.

"Everything's thin right now," says Hil Schramm from Schramm Farms and Orchards.

Hi family has been growing corn in Western Pennsylvania since the Civil War. Right now, it seems farmers and nature are in a bit of a battle, and believe it or not, while it's been hot, problems with the corn started because it was cold.

"The problem is, we lost half of the first three fields due to the freeze in May, so it's not going to be a full crop," says Schramm.

"In the second week of April, the temps started to drop and it turned back to winter and it stayed like that until the 15th of May."

Add to that what we're dealing with now. A dry July is not a good thing.

"It's scorchingly dry and we need some rain on it," says Schramm.

The nature of farming is struggle -- struggle with commodity prices, struggle with weather and this year, it's a struggle getting hands in the fields.

"The other problem is the lack of labor," Schramm explains. "Because of COVID, we can't get a full workforce. We don't have enough labor to move the irrigation lines to get the water in."

All of this adds up, meaning consumers will pay more per ear.

"People say, 'wow, that's higher.' We just tell them that's the cost this year," he says.

While it's not looking good, not all is lost. But again, it comes down to whether the weather wants to cooperate.

"The main thing we need is rain."

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