Posted October 07, 2018 09:04:47 A year ago, Kentucky farmers were looking forward to the first harvest of a year-round crop.
They were anticipating a bountiful harvest of corn and soybeans, as well as the biggest harvest of wheat, potatoes, rice and other grains.
As farmers and feeders across the state and country scrambled to meet demand, they were left with more work than ever.
For the first time in decades, Kentucky has been unable to produce enough food for its residents.
“We’ve been doing what we have been doing, but we haven’t been able to feed our people,” said David Rieder, a farm manager in Kentucky.
“So it has been a tough year.”
The drought is taking a toll on farmers, too.
Some farms are seeing more than their average yield.
In the last four years, only about 3,000 acres of farmland has been harvested, according to the Kentucky Farm Bureau.
That means the average farmer has harvested less than 4,000 of the 4.7 million acres he planted during the 2015-16 growing season.
The drought has caused farmers to seek alternatives to corn and other grain.
Many are cutting back on their crop yields to meet food needs.
In some cases, they are also cutting back their operations.
“There’s a lot of pressure on them to cut back and they’re doing it,” said Kevin Trescott, a farmer in Louisville.
“And I think that’s where it starts to become a bigger problem.”
Tresco said he’s already started to see his business dry up.
“I’ve already lost a lot,” he said.
“In the last month, I lost half of my harvest.”
The numbers for corn yield have been similar across the country, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimating in October that corn production dropped to 9.2 million acres in the first nine months of 2018, down from 10.8 million acres a year earlier.
Corn is a major crop for Kentucky, with farmers planting about 10 million acres of it a year, the largest amount of any state.
In 2017, the Corn Belt had a corn yield of 2.3 million acres, the lowest since 2011.
The U.K. has a higher corn yield than any other state, with corn yielding at an average of 3.1 million acres.
But the U of K’s corn harvest fell from an average yearly yield of 7.6 million to 2.2 billion, which is the lowest in the U!
The drought also has forced Kentucky farmers to reduce the number of acres they are growing corn.
A recent study by the U-K.
National Academy of Sciences estimated that only 2.5 percent of the state’s corn fields were planted with corn that year.
The majority of those fields were being planted with soybeans and corn that are not currently available for planting.
In Kentucky, soybeans were planted at about 17 percent of all fields, and corn at about 12 percent.
And for the first eight months of the year, Kentucky had the lowest soybean acreage of any U. K. state.
The USDA’s Farm Service Agency says soybean crop acreage dropped by 5.3 percent from April through October.
Soybean acreages were down by more than 5 percent in Indiana, about 5.5% in Ohio, about 3.4% in Missouri and by more as much as 5.7 percent in New Mexico, the agency reported.
The agency expects soybean production to decline by 5 percent this year, but the decrease in corn will be far more pronounced, because of the higher soybean prices.
“The trend is clear, and it is a real problem,” said Michael Smith, executive director of the National Soybean Growers Association.
“If we don’t find some way to make corn and a little bit of soybeans available to feed the people, then that will really be a big problem for Kentucky.”
Smith says it will take a combination of better management of crops and better management for farmers and growers across the U, as the drought hits.
“What we’re seeing is that we’re not getting any help from the federal government,” Smith said.
He added that in many cases, the federal Food and Drug Administration is not taking any action to help farmers or farmers who have struggled to get corn and corn products to market.
The Agriculture Department has not been able so far to say how many acres have been planted this year.
But it said in a statement it has increased the number that are eligible for crop insurance and will offer additional assistance to those who have trouble getting their products to markets.
“These programs will help provide more help for those farmers who are not able to grow corn, soy or other crops, and will help ensure that farmers in the affected areas receive the necessary support to grow their crops,” the statement said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.