Washington County VA

Daylight saving time big boost for farmers

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - We 'spring forward' into daylight saving time this weekend, and while for some it means an hour of lost sleep, for others it's helping their bottom line.

Some workers can accomplish a lot with an extra hour of daylight.

Whether it's caring for cattle or working out in the fields, it takes a lot of hard labor every day to keep Countiss Dairy in Washington County, Virginia going.

Owner Michael Countiss told us as we head into spring that work will only pile up.

"Oh that's the busy time of year. We plant the corn and get ready to mow hay," Countiss said.

Washington County Virginia extension agent Phil Blevins told News 5 in the agriculture business, much of the work is dictated by daylight, and 'springing forward' into daylight saving time can help when it comes to farming.

"When you're used to getting up at a certain time of the day, it does seem to give you more time to work in the evening," Blevins said.

More time in the evening is just what's needed in the next few weeks at Countiss Dairy.

"We'll start hauling the manure and doing that kind of stuff. That's where we get the guys that do the day jobs and come in the evenings," said Countiss.

Some of their employees just work the evenings until dark, so more daylight means more productivity.

"We got to get it done," added Countiss.

When you talk time there's another consideration; the livestock.

"Occasionally dairymen, since they're on a usually a fixed schedule as far as their milking times, they'll move their milking times," explained Blevins.

While that time change may throw our schedules off, we learned it doesn't create a big impact to dairy cattle.

"After a day or so, they don't realize an hour's difference. They probably get used to it quicker than we do," laughed Countiss.

It's another reason that lost hour of sleep doesn't seem so painful on the farm.

Of course, we can't talk daylight saving time without giving you this important reminder:    

Whenever it's time to change your clocks, it's also time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

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