Hundreds of small dairy farmers in Pennsylvania are being economically crushed by the loss of feed crops due to drought. Combined with low milk prices, they are struggling to make ends meet.
Mennonite Disaster Service announced Sept. 23 it has created a drought relief fund through which farmers can receive up to $5,000 in silage or supplemental feed. Already, MDS Pennsylvania has contributed $200,000.
In Clinton, Centre and Lycoming counties alone, more than 200 farmers reported to MDS they need silage to keep their cattle operations going. At least 30 of them have been farming for fewer than five years. The average cost of silage is $50 per ton, and a small farm may need about 250 tons to keep operations going.
The fund will focus on farmers who are uninsured.
“MDS became involved in drought relief because this quiet disaster has been upending the lives and livelihood of small farmers, many of whom have been quietly suffering,” said MDS executive director Kevin King. “No disaster is too small for MDS to reach out with compassion.”
To donate funds, visit mds.mennonite.net.