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'We may be going backward': Kentuckiana farmers fear potential drought

As the nation looks to it's agriculture industry to make up for cut ties with Russia, farmers in Kentucky and Indiana prepare for a potential drought.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In a time when America is leaning on corn farmers to make up for cut ties with Russia, their yield becomes even more important.

Now, there may be a big obstacle in Kenutckiana, as farmer Terry Vissing puts it, "We are on the edge of a drought, it looks like."

Hot and dry conditions may hamper the harvest.

Vissing said he was looking to overproduce corn and soybean but his corn is already seeing heat stress. With the air only getting dryer, he said, "we may be going backward." 

On his farm in Marysville, Indiana, about 30 minutes north of Louisville, you can hear the dry ground crunch as he walks over it. So far the majority of his corn has held out. 

To better understand the conditions, WHAS11 News reached out to Tom Reaugh with the National Weather Service in Louisville.

Reaugh said they've been discussing the chances of a drought over the next couple of weeks, "possibly as early as this week."

He noted we're getting into another heat wave. While the humidity won't be quite as bad for people outside, it's not good for the crops in the ground. Reaugh said, "That dry air will just suck up the moisture even more." 

As the week goes on, he'll watch the temperatures, humidity, even wind to help determine if there's a drought.

Meanwhile, Vissing and other farmers will keep their eyes on the crops.

"This corn plant may look a little more like a pineapple plant next week," he said. 

Some leaves already starting to curl up and hide from the sun, but that only goes so far. 

Each of these 126-acres of corn costs about a thousand dollars to plant and care for. That's up over 50% from what he paid last year. 

Now, he may not get the return he was hoping for. 

Vissing will tell you, it's just a part of farming. He's seen droughts before and probably will again. "If farming was easy everybody would be doing it," he said.

As Terry Vissing looks over his land, he hopes for rain but knows he can weather whatever may come.

 Contact reporter Tom Lally at TLally@whas11.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

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