Kentucky Ag News


Kentucky winter wheat production lowest since 2010


National Agricultural Statistics Service


LOUISVILLE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its Small Grains Summary Report today from the Small Grains Production Survey conducted in September.


“Kentucky wheat production dipped to the lowest level since 2010 based on a 25 percent decrease in harvested acres from 2016,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Producers planted 460,000 acres in the fall of 2016, and typically 75 to 80 percent of those acres are harvested for grain. However, freezing temperatures in mid-March damaged a number of acres, resulting in those acres not being harvested for grain.”

Kentucky farmers harvested 23.9 million bushels of winter wheat during the summer of 2017. This was down 25 percent from the previous year. Yield is estimated at 77 bushels per acre, down three bushels from 2016. Farmers seeded 480,000 acres last fall, down 30,000 acres from 2016. Area harvested for grain totaled 310,000 acres. Acres for other uses totaled 170,000 acres and was used as cover crop, cut as hay, chopped for silage, or abandoned.

“Yields on harvested acres were very good, though,” Knopf said. “The state average yield was 77 bushels per acre, down three bushels per acre from last year, but the second-highest state yield on record.”

Production of all wheat for the U.S. totaled 1.74 billion bushels, up slightly from the Aug. 1 forecast and down 25 percent from 2016. Grain area totaled 37.6 million acres, down 14 percent from the previous year. The United States yield is estimated at 46.3 bushels per acre, up 0.7 bushels from the Aug. 1, forecast and down 6.4 bushels from last year. The levels of production and changes from 2016 by type are winter wheat, 1.27 billion bushels, down 24 percent; other spring wheat, 416 million bushels, down 22 percent; and durum wheat, 54.9 million bushels, down 47 percent.

“Thank you to all the farmers for taking time to complete the NASS surveys,” Knopf said. “We appreciate their efforts during what we know is a busy growing season.”

All reports are available on the NASS website: