Farmers in far western Kentucky are hopeful for the rainy weather this 4th of July weekend. The National Weather Service in Paducah reports June was tied as the fifth driest on record with average highs near 90.
Fulton County farmer Austin Goodman plants corn and soybeans at his family business Walt Goodman Farms in the Mississippi River Bottom crop ground. He says while the soybeans still have a lot of potential, corn crop is much more sensitive to dry weather, needing rain at least once a week.
"Basically the corn crop, we've been working pretty hard keeping irrigation going on most of the farms. But the ones that are 'dry land' as they call it, well they're pretty extremely hurt. Some probably won't even recover if it did get a rain," Goodman says.
The young beans planted at the end of May are hurting but could turn around if they get a good rain soon he says.
One of the challenges is keeping the irrigation systems running on the crops nearly nonstop. While he doesn't want to rain on anyone's parade this holiday weekend, a good rain is good for business.
While it's been a very dry growing season, Goodman recalls it not being as bad as the summer of 2012, when some of the bean crops didn't even come up. What do you do when your harvest doesn't go as hoped? He gives this advice:
"Keep a positive attitude. You'll go nuts in this business if you don't. When you plant a crop you're gambling with your faith in the Lord and mother nature that they'll keep rain coming."