LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – Crops and livestock throughout Lancaster County are experiencing difficult times with the recent extreme heat and lack of rain.

“It does slow down the growth of the plant because they’re trying to save moisture within the plant themselves,” extension educator for the Poultry Penn State University Extension Gregory P. Martin said.

Darwin Nissley and his brother Bernard are seventh-generation farmers and run Nissley Brothers LLC in Mount Joy. Their corn and soybean plants are experiencing major problems.

“The lack of rain the last month, the corn is drying down prematurely,” said Darwin Nissley. “The corn should not look like this at this time of the year. We have areas that are drying up because of more clay content, not as good as soil.”

Farmers throughout the county are having to harvest their corn earlier than anticipated. Animals are feeling the brunt of the heat, as well.

“When we have high humidity we’ll see cattle drool a lot more and they breathe heavier because it’s just a stress on them because of the heat,” said Nissley.

The cattle on the Nissley farm are starting to grow their thicker coats for the winter months, making this heat even more unbearable. Fans help move air around as much as possible.

Cattle and chickens aren’t eating as much when it’s hot, similar to humans. Yet, farmers have a technique to keep the birds fed.

“They’ll feed the birds in the middle of the night because the heat of metabolism during the hot part of the day,” said Martin.

Ultimately, it’ll take a big cooldown and some soaking rain to really turn things around.