Local farmer talks working through a drought

Jackson's Orchard working extra hard during this dry spell
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 8:09 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Though it is a popular tourist spot in town, Jackson’s Orchard is still a functioning farm.

“We’re entering our 57th year now,” said Jackson’s Orchard co-owner, Jonathan Price. “We grow apples, peaches, plums, cherries, pumpkins.”

Like many other farms in Kentucky, Jackson’s Orchard is starting to feel the effects of the heat.

“A couple of guys, five or six days a week, haul water to trees that don’t have heavy irrigation on them,” Price said. “Those trees that do, we’ve kept water on them really for about the last two and a half weeks. It’s not the same as as a good rain, but for the time being, it’s adequate.”

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 53.6% of Kentucky is abnormally dry and 4.7% is in a moderate drought.

Currently, 11 counties have areas in moderate drought.

Price says the orchard’s irrigation system has been a key part in ensuring the crops stay healthy

“It’s water lines underneath of the trees that have little emitters that emit water so many gallons per hour,” he said.

Price said Jackson’s is lucky, as many farms don’t have an irrigation system

“We can get water to most all the crops that we have,” Price said. “There’s a lot of farmers that just don’t have that option on a much larger scale.”

With the heat has come the concern for brush fires, something Price says hasn’t happened at the orchard yet but they’re prepared for nonetheless.

“We have multiple large water tanks and water lines that that we can access in a fairly reasonable amount of time around the farm,” Price said.

Price says that, while Jackson’s is doing well, it may not be the case for all farms.

“These farmers that have thousands, hundreds and hundreds of acres don’t have that option,” Price said. “Pray for them because it’s rough.”

With the dry conditions, many counties have issued burn bans.

Officials are asking residents to avoid using any kind of fire or pyrotechnics outside during these bans.

Currently, bans have been issued for Marion, Mercer, Metcalfe, Taylor, Simpson, Edmonson and Warren county.

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