Hoping for a wet winter
Christian County, Kentucky, like most of the state, is still in desperate need of rain. All of Kentucky is experiencing severe, extreme, or exceptional drought. Our county is in the extreme drought category, about 12 inches below normal in rainfall at present.
A recent headline in the Kentucky New Era summarizes the sad story of the harvest: "Corn yields down 50 percent, tobacco down 30 percent, soybeans devastated."
A cold front is bringing us a shower tonight, and we're thankful for it. I hope it rains all night. Some farmers have sowed their winter wheat, and this little shower should help it germinate.
I imagine the firefighters are as thankful for rain as the farmers are. Our volunteer fire departments have had a hard summer of field and forest fires.
A recent article in the Kentucky New Era described the toll that constant fire-fighting has taken on the equipment of the volunteer fire departments. Most of them use older equipment that requires ongoing repair, even in the best of times.
Our burn ban in Christian County had been lifted after we received a little rain, but now has been re-imposed. In fact, there's a burn ban across the entire state.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has set up a website and hotline for farmers who are buying or selling hay. I've met several big loads of hay on our little highway recently, apparently going to a farm in our area.
There is a bit of good news about the weather. We're supposed to have a "La Niña winter," and in Kentucky, that typically means a wet, mild winter.