Chapel Creek Farms

View the original WFXR Interview of our farm

BEDFORD, Va. (WFXR) — It takes a good amount of knowledge to successfully raise crops and cattle, especially with the recent erratic weather. Farmers and agricultural workers say they will need to make adjustments to grow their crops. Beef Farmers at Chapel Creek Farms, John and Melody Divers say this year’s rainy spells and inconsistent temperatures have made things harder. “For the most part this year, the weather has been fairly decent for the winter, other than we did have a lot of rainy spells which hasn’t been too terribly bad, but it causes some problems during the calving season because it makes our calves more susceptible to pneumonia,” John Divers told WFXR. They say a good farmer is one that knows how to adjust to almost any weather-related situation, and they avoid plenty of problems with good management of their pastures. “The wetness this year has cost us some feed, we stockpile a lot of grass because we focus on grazing 300 days out of the year, which a lot of people don’t do,” John Divers said. The couple shared that plenty of work gets done on dry windy days. “It’s drying up things, it makes his days easier,” said Melody Divers, “Lifting and all those things are just harder in the mud.” They say luckily this year prices in their store were competitive with grocery stores. Because of that, they were able to get the equipment they needed. Now they’re hoping temperatures stay more consistent so they can also grow their peaches and other fruits. Agriculture specialists say fruit farmers all over the commonwealth are keeping their fingers crossed. “Milder temperatures, in February especially, probably accelerated their growth a bit so we’ll be keeping an eye on that through March and April,” Agricultural Extension Agent, Scott Baker told WFXR. He says a late freeze, like one in May, would mean it can reduce fruit crops. “Which can cause a slight reduction in the yield, but most years even if we have a reduction in yield, we don’t see a large increase in prices, said Baker.” He explained that this week and next week are expected to be cooler, which will allow some slower growth. He says farmers hope to see their last freeze in April to plant more summer fruits.

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