By Brandon Sears
In the post tobacco-buyout era, livestock production has become the main source of income on many Madison County farms.
It accounts for approximately $34.8 million in farm receipts, based on 2012 estimates. Most of this comes from beef-cattle production.
Currently, our county’s 57,000 head cattle or calves ranks it fifth in the state. Only Barren, Pulaski, Lincoln and Allen counties have more. In the number of cows, Madison county is third, with 23,000 head. Only Barren and Pulaski counties have greater numbers.
On-farm livestock mortalities are a fact of life in the agricultural sector, and even the very best livestock producers experience animal deaths.
As you have read, our county has many thousands of cattle, and proper removal of livestock mortalities is very important for our water, air, and soil quality as well as our quality of life. We are extremely fortunate to have a deceased livestock removal program since 2001 that is free of charge for Madison County farmers.
Recently, a new livestock removal truck was purchased through a cooperative effort between the Madison County Agriculture Advancement Board (Phase I Tobacco Funds) and the Madison County Fiscal Court. Funding of $50,000 came from the County Agriculture Board and approximately $65,000 from the fiscal court.
Annually, the program removes and disposes of approximately 1,500 head of deceased livestock. Livestock producers and residents can call the county’s solid waste department to schedule a pickup of deceased livestock at 624-4709.
We are fortunate to have this program, and as you can see, all Madison County residents benefit from this partnership.
Educational programs of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.