LOUISVILLE, Ky. — December brought below normal temperatures and precipitation. Scattered light snow and rain showers did occur during the month, but with very little accumulations. In mid-December the US Drought Monitor reported abnormally dry conditions in predominantly southern and eastern portions of the state. Precipitation for the month totaled 2.85 inches, 1.6 inches below normal. Precipitation totals by climate division, West 3.03 inches, Central 3.30 inches, Bluegrass 2.33 inches and East 2.76 inches, which was 1.85, 1.52, 1.54 and 1.47 inches below normal respectfully. Temperatures averaged 36 degrees for the month, 2 degrees below normal. High temperatures averaged from 45 in the West to 45 in the East. Low temperatures averaged from 29 degrees in the West to 29 degrees in the East.
Some tobacco producers have had issues getting and keeping tobacco in case during the cold temperatures to finish stripping the crop. The amount of tobacco stripped was 79 percent, compared to 81 percent last year. Winter wheat conditions were rated as 4% very poor, 10% poor, 22% fair, 48% good, and 16% excellent.
Most producers feel hay supplies are adequate. Hay and roughage supplies were reported as 2% very short, 7% short, 81% adequate, and 10% surplus. The cold temperatures have increased feed intake and put stress on cattle and horses. Livestock conditions were rated as 1% very poor, 3% poor, 18% fair, 68% good, and 10% excellent.
— USDA, NASS, Kentucky Field Office
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