Excessive rain throws challenges at area farmers - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Excessive rain throws challenges at area farmers

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Excessive summer rain across Kentucky has thrown challenges at area farmers.

Could it mean setbacks for the tobacco, corn and soybean industries?

For some, it's too early to tell but some farmers think right now, the only people feeling the pain from the rain is them.

"It's definitely disheartening when you see something like this," said Larry Schenck.

Schenck has only had three measurable losses in the 29 years he has been farming corn and soybeans in rural Nelson County, Kentucky. This year is one of them.

"Probably what I lost here this year is 40 percent (of my corn) but probably closer to 50 percent of my yield," said Schenck.

The colors alone make it obvious which part of his land has seen too much water.

For him, brown fields mean cutting corners where it's possible.

"Any kind of future expansion or equipment updates, that's gonna be set aside for a year or two," Schenck said.

But he also mentioned that his loss is tiny in the big picture.

Compared to last year, most corn crops are thriving and for consumers, Schenck says that's a good thing.

"I think in this area there's enough up ground to make up for it that I don't think the consumer is going to feel anything," he told WDRB.

Tobacco is a different story. Bloomfield tobacco farmer Tommy Brothers tells WDRB that Kentucky has already lost 25 percent of its tobacco crops, which could mean a $150 to $2 million loss for the commonwealth.

For the country's second-leading tobacco producer, Brothers says that's a huge hit.

He says it's all because of the rain.

"We've got some low spots that've drowned out due to the excessive moisture and rain," Brothers said. "We've got some up ground that's in better shape but overall the tobacco crop isn't going to be as good as it would be because of excess rainfall."

Brothers farms 25 acres of tobacco at Plum Run Farms in Bloomfield.

He says even though the state is estimating a big loss, he doesn't think we'll see prices increasing more than just a few cents a pound so consumers shouldn't feel the affects.

"It affects the farmer more than anybody. It's the farmer that will suffer the loss," he told WDRB.

No matter the crop, farmers agree the weather is out of their hands so they plant what they can and look for the sky to do the rest.

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