Kentucky Ag News

Kentucky farmers produced record corn and soybean crops in 2013


National Agricultural Statistics Service

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky’s 2013 crop production was up from 2012 levels for corn, soybeans and hay, while lower for tobacco according to the Kentucky Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Weather conditions have benefitted crop development for most crops this growing season, a stark contrast to the drought of 2012. Tobacco is the exception, mainly in part due to record rainfalls received over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Corn production in Kentucky was estimated at a record 243 million bushels, up 134 percent from the previous crop. While acreage was down, yields were up significantly from the previous year’s drought reduced crop. Yield was estimated at 170 bushels per acre, up 102 bushels from the 2012 level and the highest yield on record surpassing the 2009 crop at 165 bushels. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 1.43 million acres, down 100,000 acres from 2012. The U.S. corn production was estimated at a record 13.9 billion bushels, down slightly from the November 1 forecast but 29 percent above 2012. The average yield in the United States is estimated at 158.8 bushels per acre. This is down 1.6 bushels from the November forecast but 35.4 bushels above the 2012 average yield of 123.4. Area harvested for grain is estimated at 87.7 million acres, up slightly from both the November forecast and 2012.

Soybean production for Kentucky was estimated at a record 81.2 million bushels, an increase of 38 percent from 2012. Both acres for harvest and yield were up from the previous year. Yield was estimated at 49.5 bushels per acre, 9.5 bushels above a year ago and the highest yield on record surpassing the 2009 crop at 48.0. Acreage for harvest as beans was estimated at 1.64 million acres, up 170,000 acres from the previous year. U.S. soybean production was estimated at 3.29 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the November 1 forecast and up 8 percent from 2012. United States production is the third largest on record. The average yield per acre is estimated at 43.3 bushels, 0.3 bushel above the November 1 forecast and 3.5 bushels above last year's yield. Harvested area is down slightly from 2012 to 75.9 million acres and is the fourth highest on record.

Kentucky burley tobacco production was estimated at 148 million pounds, down 2 percent from 2012. Yield was estimated at 2,000 pounds per acre, down 50 pounds from the 2012 crop. Harvested acreage was estimated at 74,000 acres, unchanged from last year’s crop. For the burley producing states production was estimated at 192 million pounds, down 6 percent from last year. Yields averaged 1,944 pounds per acre, down 77 pounds from last year.

Production of Kentucky dark fire-cured tobacco totaled 27.9 million pounds, down 11 percent from the previous year. Dark air-cured tobacco production totaled 11.3 million pounds, down 10 percent from last year.

Production of hay by Kentucky farmers was estimated to be up from last year due to increased acreage and higher yields. Alfalfa hay production was forecast at 660 thousand tons, 26 percent above the 2012 level. Other hay production was estimated at 5.28 million tons, up 20 percent from last year.