Recent winter storms, flooding impacting Ky. farmers

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 4:40 PM EDT
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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - For cattle farmers, their issues started with the multiple round of winter storms that impacted our region last month. It hit during their early calving season, putting them at risk, but even for fully grown livestock, the cold and ice can still bring a big impact if not taken care of.

“These cattle, they just can’t gain weight when it’s so cold and ice on them but we try to offset that and increase our feed, increase the hay,” cattle farmer Isaac Marcum said.

And whether farmers had lost some of their livestock, or incurred more cost from extra feeding, this also impacts their overall livelihood as well.

“Our bottom line is pretty thin already and you know that cuts into it, but you certainly can’t starve a profit out of an animal, out of a cow,” Marcum said.

Along with cattle farmers experiencing issues, Brandon Sears, a UK Agriculture extension agent in Madison County, says some crop farmers could also have problems especially as we head into the planting season.

“They end up with driftwood and a lot of debris that comes in and then we’ve also seen quite a lot of silt and sand be washed into these fields, so farmers will have to kind of deal with that before they get in there and start planting,” Sears said.

Sears says flooding also impacted the hay supply for several counties, but through all of this adversity, other Kentuckians have stepped up to help out.

“There’s been hundreds of bails of hay come out of Madison County and other counties in this area that went into east Kentucky,” Sears said.

Marcum says that as long as our current weather pattern can stick around, many farmers should fortunately be able to rebound quickly after a rough start to the year.

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