Group of farmers meeting Tuesday to talk tough start to growing season

Group of farmers meeting Tuesday to talk tough start to growing season

BELLEVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - The growing season hasn’t gone the way farmers like Jay Canzonier, owner of North Branch Farms in Belleville, were hoping for.

“If I had known then what the season was going to start out like I probably would have kept everything in the barn," Canzonier said.

Conzonier said this spring was one of the worst growing seasons he’s ever seen. His main vegetable is sweet corn, which is weeks behind schedule..

“We are dealing with the cold wet weather that all of the other farms have done. We are a little bit different here as a vegetable farm. We have a little bit more flexibility as to what we plant and when we plant,,” Canonzier said.

He's planted lettuce for sweet corn, and tomatoes for cucumbers. An option some farmers don't have.

And although the weather has put things behind here at North Branch Farms, Canzonier said he’s most worried about the dairy farms in the area.

“The dairy farms around us, they are really struggling with late planted crops and hopefully there is enough season left for their silage corn to get made and get enough to feed the cows,” Canonizer said.

One of those dairy farmers is Paul Mason from River Haven Farm in Cape Vincent, who said he’s more than a month behind growing his own corn.

“I came out one morning and I told the cows, I said, you know the food bank is getting low,” Mason said. “We might not have enough food in the food bank to feed you. And this is what it’s all about people say you still going to do this, well yeah we gotta do it we’ve gotta feed them we have no alternatives.”

He said this year has been stressful for the family business, but it’s not over yet.

“We don’t want to give up, that’s the last thing we want to do," Mason said.

Both farmers said they will be attending a meeting with an agriculture development council this Tuesday in Watertown. For farmers..

“Do they need some sort of assistance and is there something we can do try and bring more assistance to bear," said Jefferson County Agricultural Cooordinator Jay Matteson.

“You’ve gotta move forward. You’ve got to be optimistic, and that’s something I’ve always been, and you find a farmer that’s not optimistic, hes not a farmer," Mason said.

As for now - they’ll just have to wait and see what mother nature brings them.

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