Local farmers struggling due to drought

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Fall has begun but temperatures are climbing. Kentucky is in the early stages of a drought, and Warren County farmers are feeling the effects.

Unusually high temperatures and below average rainfall have been detrimental to crops this season.

Local farmer Landon Westbrook said that his double crop beans will likely be a total loss and that he probably won’t get a third cut of hay because the pastures are so dry. 

“Everything has dried down as far as moisture levels, we were in the 18-20 percent range and are now down to 14 and 13 percent,” Westbrook said.

The heat has also had drastic effects on dairy production. Westbrook has had significant milk losses in the past month and a half. 

Warren County Agriculture Extension Agent Joanna Coles said that the dryness can have dangerous implications. 

“We have a lot of harvest equipment out in those fields right now, and just a little bit of spark can cause fire and cause a lot of damage,” Coles said.

Coles also stressed the toll this drought will take on agriculture in the local economy. 

“We have a great local source of food, but to continue that, it’s a long-term investment and we need to invest in our farmers just like any other long-term investment,” Coles said.

Farmers are saying that even with the isolated rain we’ve had in the last few days, it would take a few inches to make a difference in the soil.

Meteorologists are expecting above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall for the next two weeks, and possibly for the next month.