Late Rain & Technology Saving Warren County Bean Crop

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WARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) -- "The rain has just made a huge difference!"

Farmers across south central Kentucky are thanking the rain for a very healthy looking bean crop that had one more chance a few weeks ago, before being considered a loss.

"These beans before the rains came were bowed over and in terrible stress," said Jack Estes of Estes Farms. He has land in both Warren and Edmonson Counties. Farmers around south central Kentucky said the northern part of Warren County may have had the best of the precipitation in recent days.

The good health of the beans isn't just due to rain, it's also due to new technology being used in fields. A new genetically modified bean has broken through the dirt. It's resistant to chemicals used for killing weeds. Weeds that have adapted to old compounds that use to be effective.

"This is exciting. This going to help our local farmers combat resistant weeds that are coming in. This new technology will help that weed control," said Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College Ag Specialist, Mike Bullock.

New soybean technology isn't the only thing Warren County farmers are using to get an advantage. They're also using drones to get a different perspective on their crops.

"The model we're flying out here today costs around $7,500," said Kentucky Community & Technical College Ag Specialist, Lance Lockhart.

The light machine can whiz out into a field, allowing the operator a look deep out into his field, giving a birds eye view of a problem that could potentially cripple a farm.

"Weed problems, planter issues, maybe some nutrition problems," added Lockhart.

Weed problems in other parts of the country are taking over fields, leaving them unusable for farmers. If caught quickly enough, say by a drone, it can be taken care of before the plant spreads into the crop.

Both technologies are new to the area but spreading the word quick enough can mean an entirely different way of doing things.

"We're in agriculture together. We're in it to help our community and our county," added Bullock.

The combination of spreading technology and a late rush of rain, means at least $7.5 million in beans this year for Warren County. However, the rain fell a little too late for the corn crop. Farmers expect it to be well below average this harvest season.

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