One of the biggest industries in Oneida County is farming. There is no doubt about it that we love our farmers and appreciate what they do, but the job is very difficult. Just ask a farmer and they'll tell you. They won't complain, but they'll be sure to tell you.

Ben Simons, also known to many as Farmer Ben, is a dairy farmer from Remsen, NY. He operates his organic farm with his wife and son on Starr Hill in Oneida County and is very involved in the agricultural community. He has volunteered his service with several local organizations including the Oneida County Soil & Water Conservation District Board, the Boonville Farms Milk Cooperative, the Oneida County Cooperative Extension Board and the Oneida County Farm Bureau to name a few. To say he's an expert in the field is quite the understatement.

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Farmer Ben joined 'First News with Keeler in the Morning' Wednesday to discuss the start of growing season and how it's actually been extremely difficult for him and for other farmers. In addition to operating his dairy farm, Farmer Ben also grows soybeans and corn. These particular crops need a certain climate to thrive and we've just not been getting it so far this year. Farmer Ben says,

It's becoming very depressing to be honest with you. Usually we like to see the weather stream and the jet streams change near mid-April so we start to get into that southern heat, that sun coming through. It has not been happening.

This puts Farmer Ben and others behind the eight ball when it comes to successfully planting seeds. Farmers who grow soybean and corn are starting to look at the calendar and they're getting nervous. Ben says,

Interesting fact. We need sunlight for soybeans. Soybeans are opposite of corn, but we use soybeans and corn as a rotation. So soybeans need daylight to grow, mature and become a nice harvest. Corn doesn't need a lot of sunlight, but what it does need is heat. We're not getting either one.

While dairy cows can produce a good income and Farmer Ben is sure to utilize them to their full potential once they've retired as dairy cows, the soybeans and corn are real cash crops. With a cold ground planting is very difficult.

Hopefully this weather improves and Farmer Ben and others can breath a sigh of relief. We all need farmers to succeed. We all want them to succeed. You can Ben's full interview by visiting YouTube and fast forwarding to 55:56.

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