Dry Conditions Hurting Agriculture
If you think the hot dry weather is hard on your electric bill think about our farming community. Many farms in Daviess and surrounding counties are running inches or feet behind on rainfall. This is on top of the extremely high temperatures.
"A warm spring gave farmers a chance to plant early so the crops could mature earlier", said UK Extension Agent Clint Hardy on the Joe Lowe Morning Show Monday. "In a normal year that would have been a good thing but we didn't get the spring or for that matter the early summer rains and that hurt." We have a number of farms that can irrigate and that will help them but for those who don't have that luxury it will be a low yield year", he continued.
With about 1,000 Daviess County families earning a living from farming and over 10,000 in the agriculture industry in one form or another these conditions certainly affect the economy.
Less corn and soybeans means less money to spend in our community. It also translates to higher food prices. If a farmer has to spend more money to feed beef cattle the price of meat goes up. If the demand for corn is high, the price of corn goes up. Still Daviess, Hancock and Ohio Counties are better than some.
Kathy and I went out this past weekend and took some photos of the corn and soybean fields. You can see how dry things are and how small the crops are. We also took some photos of several ponds and recreational lakes to show how low water levels are. In some cases 10 feet below normal for this time of year.
"I understand some farms down in the Paducah area will not harvest crops at all", Hardy said. But there is a bit of light thru all this gloom. It seems most farmers have crop insurance that will at least help them get close to breaking even. That means the cost of seed, fertilizer, etc. will be paid for so they can try again next growing season.
Nobody likes to work all year for nothing but that is the best some farmers can hope for this year. Before you complain about your electric or water bill. Before you say something about dipping into your vacation fund to pay utilities...think about those in agriculture.
This might be a perfect time for you to visit a local farmers market and buy fresh produce. You might pay a penny or two more but it is so much fresher and tastes better than produce shipped in from another state.