Farmers looking to use crops any way they can

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Elizabeth Fields

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. — Just weeks ago, Lesa Clark and her daughter Ellie were contemplating selling their family farm but thanks to a little bit of rain, LeCows Dairy Farm has another option.

Tractors and semis zigzag up and down the corn fields Thursday. It looks a lot like fall harvest but it's still only July.

Clark decided to hire a crew to come and chop all 350 acres of corn she has planted. Stalks and all, it can be used as food for her cows, which is more beneficial than trying to sell the corn for grain.

"The corn is history," she explained. "It's already made what it's going to make, so the quicker we can get it harvested, the better quality silage it will make."

She decided to hire a custom chopper. Even though it's more expensive, she said it's worth it.

"They can do in three or four days what it might take us three weeks to do and the longer you leave the corn in the field, we're losing money," she said.

All of the silage will be stored in her two silos and in huge temporary ground bags. Clark said the corn was already tested to make sure the nitrate levels aren't too high.

Even though it's not an ideal situation, the owners of LeCows are just happy to still have cows that need to be fed.

"To me, this year already turned out better than I thought," she said. "I'm not going to say it's a bad year because it can always get worse. We're getting to keep the cows and that's our main goal."

Clark is also already looking ahead to see how fall crops could help add to the food supply.

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