2:51 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Report: Soil Conservation Could Help Reduce Climate Change-Related Crop Losses

A new report says farmers are relying too much on crop insurance to manage the risks of farming, and soil conservation would be a better long-term solution.

From 2001 to 2010, the Federal Crop Insurance Program averaged about $4 billion a year in payouts to farmers for lost crops. Last year, that amount was a record-breaking $17.3 billion to farmers across the country…nearly all for crops lost because of drought, heat and hot wind. More than $1.5 billion of that money went to farmers in Kentucky and Indiana.

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Local News
3:03 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Barge Owners Want Beshear's Help in Raising River Level

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Several companies that operate barges on the drought-stricken Mississippi River have asked Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to intervene by calling for a presidential disaster declaration.

The companies, including three based in Paducah, say such a request could be a first step in getting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release water from the Missouri River to improve the flow of theMississippi.

The companies made the appeal in a Dec. 20 letter.

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9:11 am
Tue November 20, 2012

The Dust Bowl: Ken Burns Chronicles an Environmental Disaster

Courtesty of the Associated Press

Last night, the second part of Ken Burns' latest documentary premiered on PBS. "The Dust Bowl" tells the story of the people who farmed the Great Plains in the 1920s and 1930s; many stayed on once the ground dried up and dust storms became commonplace, while others moved west to find work.

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Local News
3:54 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Comer Says Corn, Soybean Yields Better Than Expected

File photo

The drought last summer will reduce corn and soybean harvests in Kentucky, but not to the degree once feared. That’s the assessment of state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

"Yields are a little better than what we thought they were going to be, which says a lot about technology about the corn seed, because there are a lot of those counties, in Fulton County and Calloway County, that didn’t’ get any rain in May, June or July but they still yieled something. So, that was encouraging," Comer said during a visit to Frenchburg this week.

10:30 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Drought Conditions Could Affect Honeybee Colonies

ForestWander Wikimedia Commons

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.

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5:25 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Nearly All of Kentucky is Now Officially a "Drought Disaster Area"

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated another 68 Kentucky counties, including Jefferson, as drought disaster areas.

With the new drought declaration, Bell, Harlan, Leslie and Perry counties are the only Kentucky counties not officially in a drought. These counties are all clustered in the southeast part of the state.

University of Kentucky meteorologist Matt Dixon says the drought has been months in the making.

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Local News
4:24 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Drought Devastates Kentucky Corn Crop

The hot, dry summer has taken a toll on Kentucky's corn crop, which could result in the lowest yields in nearly 30 years.

A government report issued Friday predicts an average statewide corn yield of 65 bushels an acre. That's down 74 bushels from last year's crop. And it would be the lowest yield since the 1983 crop produced 48 bushels per acre.

Corn production in Kentucky is forecast at nearly 97 million bushels, down 46 percent from last year.

Local News
3:46 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Forage Sales Directory Available For Drought-Stricken Farmers

Photo courtesy of Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council

Drought-stricken Kentucky farmers in need of hay or other forages for their livestock can seek help through a state Department of Agriculture website.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says a forage sales directory is up and running that can match up farmers with forages for sale with those whose pastures and fields have been dried up by the drought.    A similar program is also available for farmers in Indiana.

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12:52 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

McConnell Discusses Kentucky Drought Conditions With Agriculture Secretary

Urging federal assistance, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Friday to discuss the impact severe drought conditions are having on Kentucky farmers.

The U.S. Drought Monitor released a new report this week showing the severity of the heat wave and lack of rainfall is worsening across the country, and that the amount of land classified as having "extreme" or "exceptional" drought is over 20 percent.

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Local News
3:50 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

More Indiana Counties Under Drought Disaster

Photo courtesy of USDA

The lingering drought has led the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare a natural disaster in 14 more of Indiana's 92 counties.

The USDA added the north-central Indiana counties today.  Along with adjacent counties, they qualify for low-interest relief loans from the federal government.

Fifty counties earlier had been declared natural disaster areas.  

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