Rainy Day Blues

By: Sarah Goebel Email
By: Sarah Goebel Email

It's already June and Warren County is still down more than nine inches of rain this year.

Farmers were counting every drop of rain on June 8, 2007. Their crops have been suffering since the freeze earlier this spring. Now, a drought may finish them off.

"Do you hear that thunder," farming advisor, Mike Bullock asked.

The elements were there.

"Ooh, that was a big thing there," Bullock said.

"I woke up this morning doing the same thing I've been doing the last three or four weeks - doing odds and ends waiting for the rain," farmer, James Spinks said.

Spinks is still waiting.

"I'll take anything at this point," Spinks said. "If it's a hard rain it will just run off. We'd much rather have a slow rain, let the ground soften up and then more rain would soak in."

"It would be nice to get enough to take us through a week to ten days, an inch or so," Bullock said.

That's what Bullock was expecting to get in Warren County.

"It hasn't rained on the North side yet," Bullock said. "You can't put a value on rain in this county."

Bullock was so excited at the possibility of rain, he wanted to make sure all his farming friends were home to see it.

"Is it raining your way yet," Bullock said.

The dark clouds, thunder and lightning were just a tease to desperate farmers.

"We're dependent on the weather," Spinks said.

"We had a 10th of an inch in Woodburn so far," Bullock said.

The little bit of rain South Central Kentucky did get isn't enough to salvage Spinks' 700 acres of corn.

"This is the way the corn protects itself waiting for the rain, all curled up, it uses less moisture and everything," Spinks said. "At a certain time it will curl up and never open back up again."

Which is any farmers' nightmare.

James has been farming all his life, he knows how to grow corn, the rest is up to mother nature.

"If we don't get the rain, there's nothing we can do about it," Spinks said.

It's just the beginning of summer but with the rain deficit at almost ten inches there's always next year.

Spinks said corn prices have reached $4 a bushel. It's the highest they've been in a long time, but if the lack of rain continues he won't be seeing the profit.


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