Rain Shortage Making It Hard On South Central Kentucky

By Jake Boswell | 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- No rain in south central Kentucky means stress.

"It's less than one foot right now."

"Hopefully we can get some rain to fill out the kernels."

Farmers in the area said the nearly four and a half inch rain deficit this year has closed the window on a good corn crop.

"It has pollinated, but no kernel development as you can see. This corn plant is very much under water stress," said SKYCTC Agricultural Instructional Specialist, Mike Bullock.

"Not having rain, heat-wise makes it difficult on the cows. Rain brings the temperature down. The heat makes the cows not eat as well," said Taylor Kaiser of Ballance Farms.

In Mammoth Cave National Park a lack of precipitation means a way to work is closed for some.

"Here at the Green River Ferry over 300 cars go back and forth everyday," said Mammoth Cave National Park Public Information Officer, Vickie Carson.

Those cars are now being forced to turn around, making the long trip necessary to get to the other side.

Park officials at Mammoth Cave National Park tell us that water levels on the Green River need to be about six inches higher than they are right now. They say the ledge at the end of the boat ramp is just too high for cars to get across.

The Green River will eventually rise back up to workable levels, but farmers in Warren County will never get those dry days back.

"Just make it a 30 bushel loss. At $4 corn, that's $120 less," added Bullock.

With Warren County hosting around 35,000 acres of the crop, that could mean a $4.2 million loss come harvest season. However, farmers said late rains could still save a large soybean crop.

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