Kentucky Ag News


Kentucky soybeans forecast to be record-breaking


National Agricultural Statistics Service


LOUISVILLE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the October Crop Production report today, showing soybean and corn crops are forecast to be record-breaking.

“The soybean production forecast grew even larger, both in yield and acreage,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Harvested acres were revised upward based on (Farm Service Agency) certified acreage. Producers reported an increase in yield on the Oct. 1, Ag Yield Survey. Yields in early harvested fields are trending more optimistically than observations made a month ago, and the crop is on track for a record high acreage, yield and production.”

Soybean production for Kentucky is forecast at 103 million bushels, up five percent from the September forecast and up 16 percent from 2016. Yield was estimated at 53 bushels per acre, up one bushel from last month and up three bushels from a year ago. Acreage for harvest as beans was estimated at 1.94 million acres, up 160,000 acres from the previous year. U.S. soybean production was forecast at 4.43 billion bushels, up three percent from last year. Based on Oct. 1, conditions, yields are expected to average 49.5 bushels per acre, down 2.5 bushels from last year. Area for harvest is forecast at 89.5 million acres, up one percent from September and up eight percent from 2016.

Corn production in Kentucky is forecast at 216 million bushels, up slightly from the September forecast and down three percent from the previous crop. Yield was estimated at 174 bushels per acre, up three bushels from last month and up 15 bushels from the 2016 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 1.24 million acres, down 160,000 acres from 2016. The U.S. corn production was forecast at 14.3 billion bushels, down six percent from 2016. Based on conditions as of Oct. 1, yields are expected to average 171.8 bushels per acre, down 2.8 bushels from 2016. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.1 million acres, up slightly from the September forecast, but down 4 percent from 2016.

“With more than half of the corn harvested October 1, farmers reported an increased yield from September,” Knopf said. “The earlier yield forecasts were good; this is even better. If realized, this would be a record high yield.”

Kentucky burley tobacco production is forecast at 132 million pounds, up five percent from the September forecast and up 24 percent from 2016. Yield was projected at 2,100 pounds per acre, up 100 pounds from last month and up 350 pounds from the 2016 crop. Harvested acreage was estimated at 63,000 acres, up 2,000 acres from last year's crop. For the burley producing states production is forecast at 166 million pounds, up 19 percent from last year. Burley growers plan to harvest 81,500 acres, up two percent from 2016. Yields were expected to average 2,032 pounds per acre, up 285 pounds from last year.

Production of Kentucky dark fire-cured tobacco is forecast at 35.7 million pounds, unchanged from the
September forecast and up 63 percent from the previous year. Dark air-cured tobacco production is forecast at 15.6 million pounds, down four percent from the September forecast and up 103 percent from last year.

Alfalfa hay production by Kentucky farmers is forecast at 585,000 tons, up eight percent the 2016 level.
Other hay production is estimated at 5.25 million tons, up four percent from last year.

NASS gathered data for the October Agricultural Yield Survey earlier this month. The monthly yield surveys begin in May with the focus on small grains through July and shifts to row crops beginning in August through the remainder of the growing season.

All reports are available on the NASS website.

For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Kentucky Field Office at (800) 928-5277, or visit