Kentucky farmers face paltry yields, hay shortages

Kentucky agriculture is 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 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, forcing cattle producers to dip into hay reserves.

State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer calls it a disaster that will affect every segment of agriculture.

Comer says corn yields in western Kentucky could be down as much as 75 percent from normal.

In Graves County, agricultural extension agent Kenny Perry says corn farmers will be lucky to average 50 bushels an acre, a third of normal yields.

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