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Heavy Rainfall Delays Kentucky Planting Season

Wade Morgen
Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Heavy rainfall across the state is impacting springtime planting. 

University of Kentucky Agricultural Meteorologist Matt Dixon said the state has averaged seven inches of precipitation over the last month. Dixon says that's about three inches above normal. "This will postpone the planting season,” he said. “Based on our averages from the Kentucky Crop Report, typically five percent of corn is in the ground by the second week of April. So, we are gonna be lagging behind that threshold this year." 

Heavy rains caused flooding in many Kentucky towns. In western Kentucky counties, an average of .8 inches of rain fell yesterday. In Louisville, more than 100 rescues were carried out early Friday.

Dixon says overnight drops in temperature can also be a concern for farmers.

"Apples are mainly in the silver tip stage,” he said. “Pears are in the swollen bud stage, along with peaches, and in those cases temperatures have to get down into the mid-teens for ten percent bud kill." 

Dixon says five percent of the corn crop is usually in the ground by the second week of April. He says that won't be the case this spring.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
Whitney grew up listening to Car Talk to and from her family’s beach vacation each year, but it wasn’t until a friend introduced her to This American Life that radio really grabbed her attention. She is a recent graduate from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where she studied journalism. When she’s not at WKMS, you can find her working on her backyard compost pile and garden, getting lost on her bicycle or crocheting one massive blanket.
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