Why some Vermont farmers like dry weather

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CHARLOTTE, Vt. (WCAX) After last week's heat wave, some farmers are now looking for rain. But not everyone is upset. One local hay farmer says the dry weather helps his work.

The sound of a tractor in the summer is something Dylan Preston knows well.

"As far as making my own hay-- 18, 19, I think, I started making my own feed," Preston said.

This young farmer's days are spent on his tractor in the middle of the field cutting hay.

"I'm cutting 450 to 600 acres depending on the year," Preston said.

This farmer says last year at this point the ground was so wet that he couldn't get out in the field to collect hay, but right now, he says he can get out there any day he wants, which is good for business.

"A drought really benefits my business," he said.

And the proof is in the barn! Preston says at this point last year he had just over 1,000 total bales of hay; at the same point this year, he has almost 3,000.

"The quality of the feed is good because with the lack of moisture, the hay didn't get too tall or too coarse, so it's been pretty good this year on hay quality," Preston said.

"We just recently came off one of the most impressive heat waves we have seen in 25 years. With that, we were rather dry, as well," said Scott Whittier of the National Weather Service.

Whittier says the lack of rain is starting to affect southern Vermont. The rest of the state could be next.

"Right now, they have portions of southern Vermont in a D1, which is a moderate drought and much of the state of Vermont in abnormally dry conditions," Whittier said.

But for farmers who need rain, Whittier says don't lose hope.

"As long as we can get some of these moderate rain falls in, that should help the farmers and at the same time help the hayers because you will dry that all up and allow it to cut the hay and not have to worry about hay rot," he said.

Back in the field, Preston says even though the dry, hot sun is serving him well, he wouldn't mind a day off.

"It would be nice if we got a little bit," he said. "Mainly, so I got a break."

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture says they haven't had many complaints from farmers due to the hot weather but some berry farmers say the heat is hurting raspberries and put them at least a week behind schedule.