By Ross Guidotti

BROWNSVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) – It’s been a challenging couple of years for area farmers. However, things are looking up this year.

Between the pandemic and bad weather, some farms were close to catastrophe, but 2021 is off to a much better start.

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On Monday, the sun was shining, the rolling fields were green with sweet corn and the soil was moist. It’s a good time for farmers Andrew and Mark Duda.

“There are times when it is tough, but when you have a nice field ready to get harvested, it feels pretty good inside,” said Mark.

Duda’s Farm outside of Brownsville, Fayette County is one of the bigger ones in the area. This agriculture operation, like others big and small, has had to endure the impact of COVID-19 and the latest in what’s been a few years of less than ideal weather.

“We had such horrible weather to start, it may have been the worst spring I’ve ever seen,” said Mark.

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But around the region this year, farmers say the planting and growing season is improving and when it comes to retail, Mark says “the market’s been pretty good.”

And wholesale commodity prices are up nearly double from this time last year.

“Mother nature’s been kinder to us for the most part,” he said.

However, Mark and Andrew say the only sure thing in farming is there are no sure things.

“There’s still a lot of season left. A lot can change from now. Our season, it’s like a marathon.”

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Duda says the season comes to an end around Halloween.