Kentucky Ag News


Kentucky soybean production, yield at record highs


National Agricultural Statistics Service


LOUISVILLE - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the county estimates for corn and soybeans today from the 2016 production year. The two crops are significant to Kentucky agriculture, together bringing in nearly $1.6 billion in cash receipts in 2015.


“It was good year for corn and a great year for soybeans,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Statewide, the soybean yield was a record high and production was at a record high for the fourth year in a row. Overall, corn yields were down from 2015 due to weather conditions and disease pressure.”

Christian County is the leading corn producing county in Kentucky for 2016, with production totaling 15,166,000 bushels, harvested from 83,000 acres. The order remained the same as 2015, except Graves County replaced Henderson County at number three. The top five counties, which account for 28 percent of Kentucky’s corn production, include:

  1. Christian County – 15,166,000 bushels
  2. Union County – 13,070,000 bushels
  3. Graves County – 11,575,000 bushels
  4. Daviess County – 10,898,000 bushels
  5. Logan County – 10,499,000 bushels


Cumberland County outyielded Wayne County to take the top spot in 2016, producing 187.7 bushels per acre. Statewide, the average yield fell 13 bushels from 2015, but yields in Christian and Simpson Counties increased slightly. The top five counties for yield include:

  1. Cumberland County – 187.7 bushels per acre
  2. Wayne County – 186.2 bushels per acre
  3. Christian County – 182.7 bushels per acre
  4. Warren County – 182 bushels per acre
  5. Simpson County – 180.5 bushels per acre


Graves County is the leading soybean producing county in Kentucky for 2016, with production totaling 4,778,000 bushels, harvested from 95,200 acres. The top five counties, which account for 22 percent of Kentucky’s soybean production, include:

  1. Graves County – 4,778,000 bushels
  2. Daviess County – 4,383,000 bushels
  3. Christian County – 4,030,000 bushels
  4. Logan County – 3,684,000 bushels
  5. Union County – 2,818,000 bushels


Meade County had the highest soybean yield at 56.5 bushels per acre. The top five counties for yield include:

  1. Meade County – 56.5 bushels per acre
  2. Pulaski County – 54.9 bushels per acre
  3. Hart County – 54.8 bushels per acre
  4. Mercer County – 54.8 bushels per acre
  5. Boyle County – 54.3 bushels per acre


County-level estimates are used by other USDA agencies to set standards for insurance and risk protection programs many farmers rely on to protect their operations.

“Farm Service Agency (FSA) relies on the county-level estimates for Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC), County Loan Rates, and its disaster program calculations,” Knopf said. “The Risk Management Agency (RMA) uses the data for administering the Area Risk Protection Insurance Plan, establishment of transitional yields, and determining when to make crop loss insurance payments. When drought and flooding impact crop production, or even in a year with good yields, these data are crucial to the agriculture industry.”

The complete listing of corn and soybean county estimates for each county is available online in the NASS QuickStats database. For more information, call the NASS Kentucky Field Office at (800) 928-5277.