Kentucky Proud

Kentucky Ag News

Kentucky farms suffering because of the hot weather

Services are available for Kentucky farms suffering because of the hot, dry weather

Kentuckians have a knack for putting a humorous spin on even the most dire situation. So it has been that, on my recent travels across the state, a few people have asked me if I could use the powers of my office to make it rain. Unfortunately, that power is not vested in the agriculture commissioner by the Kentucky Revised Statutes. But I can help you determine what some of your options are if you're facing the prospect of crop damage or livestock losses as a result of the recent hot, dry weather in Kentucky. I don't have to tell you that pastures are suffering. To help farmers who may need to feed hay this summer, I've directed my staff at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to reactivate the Hay Hotline to match Kentucky farmers needing hay with those who have hay to sell. For more information, call (502) 564-4983. The department also maintains an online directory of hay and forages that have been tested and put up for sale.

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has a wealth of information that can help you make informed decisions for your farm operation. Contact your county Extension agent and go to www2.ca.uky.edu for the latest updates. For weather information tailored to the farmer's needs, keep an eye on the UK Agricultural Weather Center. After you've done all you can do on the farm, the single best thing you can do is to keep good records. Several federal programs can cushion the economic blow of crop and livestock losses if an agricultural disaster is declared, which at this writing looks like a distinct possibility. Having accurate and complete records on hand will help speed up the process of cutting through all that red tape. You can get ahead of the game by contacting your local Farm Service Agency office to find out what documentation will be needed if and when a disaster declaration is made. I hope the information above will help you, you families, and your businesses get through this dry spell. Another common characteristic of Kentuckians is our perseverance, and I am confident we will carry on.