Western Kentucky farmers are ahead of schedule with planting thanks to 2012’s warmer-than-normal temperatures. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Kentucky Field Office, farmers had planted 32 percent of their planned corn crop by early last week.
Tennessee’s strawberry crop looks to be the best in years, despite recent frosts. Agriculture Department spokesperson Tammy Algood says the mild winter and warm spring have ripened the fruit more than in a typical year. That means it has increased sugar levels which make it more cold tolerant. She also says growers are used to close calls and are set up to react to cold weather. Algood says strawberry lovers should call ahead if they plan to visit a patch. She says a patch filled with ripe berries on Friday could be picked clean by Saturday, then ready for another crowd by Tuesday.
The US Coast Guard will begin a formal hearing today to hear testimony regarding the collision between a cargo ship and the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge in late January. January 26th, the cargo ship Delta Mariner struck the span crossing Kentucky Lake causing portions to collapse. There were no deaths or injuries. Coast Guard officials say the purpose of the investigation is to examine the causes of the incident and make recommendations to help avoid similar incidents. It is not intended to determine civil or criminal responsibility.
The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area could see a change in services in the coming months as federal maintenance funds for the park are cut in half. At a public meeting last night, Forest Service officials met with area residents to determine what park users don't want to lose... and what they can live without. LBL Area Supervisor Bill Lisowski says the cuts were made to the park maintenance account. Lisowski says the maintenance fund covers everything in the park from roadwork to campsite upkeep.