Cool Temps Affecting KY Corn Crops, Could Affect Consumers

Cool Temps Affecting KY Corn Crops, Could Affect Consumers

Experts say the extra rain and lack of heat are causing corn crops to grow more slowly, which means a later harvest for farmers.
Wet weather is affecting farmers, and it could affect consumers as well.

Central Kentucky farmers say, usually, lots of rain is good--it's the cool weather that's not so great.

"This kind of weather with no sunlight and not a lot of wind and hot weather...it's just simply setting there," said Brad Carmickle, a farmer in Woodford County.

He said corn needs to dry to be used for grain...warm weather usually does that. If it's above a certain moisture level, farmers have to either dry it themselves (if they have the facilities) or else send it to someone that can.

That process can cost thousands of dollars. And in a season with a lot of corn yielded, which means lower buying prices, farmers will find themselves in a lose-lose situation.

"It should have all the moisture be gone and all dented out," said Carmickle.

What Carmickle meant is that corn kernels gets dents in it as they dry--but corn you'll find on most farms looks ready to shuck.

That's not a good thing.

"It's gonna be a real challenge to get it out and to actually be able to sell that grain," said crops expert Chad Lee, an Extension Agronomist at the University of Kentucky, adding, "Now we've been so cool it's actually slowing the growth of our crops, and it's gonna push harvest later and later into the season."

Carmickle said that would mean higher grocery bills for everyone.

"Corn's in probably ninety percent of anything they [consumers] buy--any kind of canned food or anything. The meat--they say corn's not in meat--but it takes corn to feed the beef to raise the meat," he said.

The farmer said he could foresee crops not being harvested for grain until January or February of next year.
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