Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Rains ease Kentucky drought

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

By and Kimberly Hefling
The Associated Press

        A weekend of rain and continued wetness this week won't dampen Ben Grant's spirits.

        The Boone County cattleman said he didn't mind having to rush through his hay bailing chores Tuesday to finish before the next wave of showers.

        The rain may soak his hay, but it is good for his beef cows, he said.

        These rains will give Mr. Grant more grass for his “second cutting.” And he hadn't even planned on a second cutting, he said.

        Farmers throughout Kentucky were helped immensely by downpours that have brought several inches of rain in the past several days. More rain is forecast this week.

        “It was one of those multimillion-dollar rains that puts a smile on most farmers' faces,” said Tom Priddy, University of Ken tucky agriculture meteorologist.

        How much the rains benefitted the state's water systems remains to be seen. A water shortage watch has been issued in more than 60 counties, including Boone, Campbell and Kenton, which means conditions are right for a water shortfall.

        To bring it out of the drought, the Bluegrass region (which includes Northern Kentucky) needs 6.09 inches of rain — in addition to normal rainfall.



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