Technology relieves pandemic pain for Pennsylvania farmers


DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — There are cows that need milking, but the shelves are difficult to stock due to increasing input costs and inflation across the board. 

Harrisburg Dairies is one distributor feeling the impact. President Alec Dewey says he attributes it to some of the unintended consequences from state and federal programs meant to help them.  

“Just a major disruption to the commodity supply chain overall,” Dewey said.

Cochranville Dairy Farmer Marilyn Hershey says life on her 800-cow farm was rolling as normal. Something that she said did change was the market and distribution.

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David Swartz Associate Director of Penn State Animal Systems Programs said farmers’ incorporating new technology can help them get on the other side of this problem.

Hershey already is, her farm’s methane digester is one of around nine in the state.  “It takes the methane from the cow’s manure and takes it and turns it into electricity,” she said. That electricity runs the needs on their farm. If they have extra it is put back on the grid for the community. A revenue source for Hershey.

Dewey at Harrisburg Dairies says that increases pay and the amount of product they can make. It creates a path for farmers and distributors to meet halfway while also benefiting the environment. 

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