Hail destroys crops at UK research farm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A storm that damaged homes and trees also destroyed several crops at a University of Kentucky research farm.

The farm, located off of Newtown Pike, was hit with hail Sunday night. The fields containing tobacco, soybeans, and corn were hit the hardest, with the tobacco leaves torn from the stalk.

"It basically devastated those crops, especially the tobacco and corn," said Dr. Chad Lee with UK's College of Agriculture.

"Looking at the bruises I saw on the ears of corn today, some of that hail would have been close to golf ball size," he said.

Lee was touring the western part of the state when the damage happened. He says the crops were part of several different research projects for the university and they estimated 90 percent of each crop was lost.

"The research that was in those studies is ruined," he said.

Lee said the fields amounted to less than 20 acres.

"For a grower 20 acres is no big deal, but in terms for us, we may have 300 treatments that we were testing in those acres."

Lee says the school has other plots around the state and they hope those crops will be able to be harvested.

"When you do field research like this, you expect from time to time you're going to lose a study," he said.

Despite the damage at the farm Lee says the overall benefit from the rain was a positive to the state, helping a corn crop in the western part of the state that was in need of rain.

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