drought

The drought that’s been plaguing areas of Kentucky and Indiana for much of the summer could end up having an effect on honeybee colonies, too. Sean Burgess is Kentucky’s state apiarist. He says this time of year is critical for bee colonies, because it’s when they harvest nectar to make the honey that nourishes them through the winter. Burgess says drought conditions have led to a shortage of flowering plants, but late summer blooms of goldenrod and aster could provide extra stores for the winter. He says many beekeepers have been supplementing the nectar by manually feeding their bees.

Wikimedia Commons

While the US drought has been rough on our region’s corn and soybean crops, grape growers in the Four Rivers say their harvest will make up in quality what it lacks in quantity.  Winemakers throughout the area report their vineyards have proven resilient to the recent heat and dryness. 

U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer will hold a news conference on Thursday morning at the Kentucky State Fair to rally for industrial hemp.

Six County-Wide Burn Bans Left in W. Ky.

Aug 17, 2012
forestry.ky.gov

Six county-wide burn bans remain in western Kentucky after Marshall and McCracken county officials lifted their bans today. The river counties of Ballard, Hickman, Fulton and Carlisle still have burn ban notices in effect. Christian and Graves counties also have burn bans.

American Queen Stranded Due to Lower Water

Aug 10, 2012
watoday.com.au

The ongoing drought has left the American Queen steamboat docked in Memphis, unable to paddle on down the Mississippi River because of low water. The steamboat stopped in Paducah this week on its journey down river.

Aid for MO Farmers

Aug 9, 2012

Missouri’s emergency cost-share program has approved over 3,700 farmer applications for urgent relief during this summer’s drought. Governor Jay Nixon established the program to provide water after declaring Missouri in a State of Emergency. The aid totals close to 19 million dollars and covers 90 percent of emergency water projects on farms. Individual farmers will have to pay the remaining 10 percent for their project.

KY Department of Agriculture

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has reactivated its hay hotline to help farmers find forage for their livestock.  Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he restarted the hotline to connect farmers in need of forage to others willing to sell it.  The Department’s website also has online directories where producers can list hay for sale, and where farmers can search for available hay by county

Jessica Elliot / about.com

The summer drought is expected to have an impact on many of the Kentucky State Fair’s agricultural entries. Kentucky’s suffered a hot, dry summer, and farmers in the western half of the state are bearing the brunt of the disaster. The stress has already shown up on fair entries in other drought-stricken areas of the country, with smaller ears of corn and other vegetables and fewer head of livestock on display.

Americasroof, Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky agriculture is still reeling from a one-two punch of heat and dry conditions. And farmers are feeling the pain from the prospects of shrinking income and inflated expenses caused by weather-related setbacks. Corn fields are shriveled, especially here in western Kentucky where the dry spell has been worst. Poultry farmers are being hit with higher grain prices to feed birds. And pastures turned to stubble are forcing cattle producers to dip into hay reserves. State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said it is a disaster affecting every segment of agriculture.

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