close to being a total loss
Purdue University agricultural experts say crops are just weeks away from being total losses unless significant rainfall occurs.
Some crops already are beyond saving.
Only nine percent of the state's corn crop is considered good to excellent. That's down from 41 percent this time last year.
The damage to the corn crop has raised concerns about how to feed cattle whose pastures are in poor condition.
Some farmers are considering cutting their corn crops to use as cattle feed after getting just one good cutting of hay or alfalfa this year.
Hay prices have doubled, and alfalfa in the Lawrence County area is running $12 for a 60-pound bale, Purdue Extension Educator Jim Luzar told the Tribune-Star.
But the lack of moisture in corn plants has caused lethal levels of nitrate to accumulate. The failed crops must be harvested as silage and allowed to ferment so the nitrate dissipates in order to be safe, Luzar said.
Luzar said it's a tough position for farmers who were sitting pretty in May after enjoying good weather that allowed them to get crops in the ground earlier than usual.