University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Farmers in some portions of western Kentucky could be facing a tough year if dry weather continues. Officials say the drought has been upgraded from "severe" to "extreme" in some areas.

Henderson County Extension Agent Mike Smith told the Henderson Gleaner that farmers could see losses of up to 40 percent in fields. Smith says that means the crop producers might make enough to cover expenses, but will make little or no profit.

National Sweet Sorghum Producers and Processors Association

                A firm based in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky is hoping more farmers raise sorghum to use in ethanol fuels production in the future. Southeast Biofuels has completed the first phase of a project that resulted in a million gallons of ethanol being produced from two thousand acres of sweet sorghum. It’s a plant that’s similar in appearance to corn, that can grow in a variety of soil types.

Three former executives of a failed livestock firm based in  New Albany, Indiana have been sentenced for their roles in swindling Kentucky farmers. Authorities say farmers should receive restitution as part of the sentences.

What a difference a year makes. Last year was the wettest on record across Kentucky going back to 1895. Many areas of the commonwealth that experienced widespread flooding last year are now in drought.

Although many communities in the U.S. have taken steps to curb smoking, Kentucky tobacco growers continue to benefit from export sales. However, the government in New Zealand today is taking some very strong steps to discourage tobacco use.

State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has scheduled visits to six Kentucky schools next week, to promote child nutrition and healthier lunches. Comer says fresh produce from local farms should be on the menus in schools in the bluegrass state.

Clinton Lewis/WKU

The recent opening of a new greenhouse/headhouse facility at the Western Kentucky University farm is expected to strengthen the research partnership between the University and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. ARS  Mid-South Director, Dr. Ed King, says much of the work at the new facility will focus on ways to improve the management of livestock waste. 

Kentucky Department of Agriculture

An audit of former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer's administration has revealed multiple abuses of state resources. The report says the former University of Kentucky basketball star illegally hired friends and family, used department resources for Christmas gifts and made state employees mow his yard and build a basketball court at his home on state time.

An audit of Richie Farmer's two terms as Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner has revealed a toxic culture of entitlement and an extravagant misuse of taxpayers dollars, state employees and time.Current Agriculture Commissioner James Comer requested the audit earlier this year. State Auditor Adam Edelen released his final report today, showing more than a dozen infractions by Farmer and a consistent abuse of state law.

Clinton Lewis/WKU

Officials at Western Kentucky University say the opening of a new greenhouse/headhouse facility on the WKU farm will add to a strong partnership between the University and the Agricultural Research Service. The new facility will conduct research on several topics, including ways to reduce odors from livestock production.