Kentucky corn acreage up 16 percent, soybeans down 6 percent
According to the Kentucky Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service farmers in Kentucky planted 1.60 million acres of corn, up 16 percent from last year, and the largest corn acreage since 1986. Acres harvested for grain was estimated at 1.49 million acres, up 15 percent from last year. Mild winter temperatures with an early spring drove farmers to plant corn early in the season. Weather conditions provided a greater window to plant corn allowing them to change their intentions on corn and soybeans. U.S. corn planted area for all purposes in 2012 is estimated at 96.4 million acres, up 5 percent from last year and represents the highest planted acreage since 1937 when an estimated 97.2 million acres were planted. Growers expect to harvest 88.9 million acres for grain, up 6 percent from last year.
Soybeans planted in Kentucky was estimated at 1.40 million acres, down 6 percent from 2011. Acres harvested for grain, at 1.39 million acres, was down 6 percent from a year ago. Soybeans in Kentucky are planted both as full season beans and double crop soybeans following winter wheat harvest. U.S. soybean planted area for 2012 is estimated at 76.1 million acres, up 1 percent from last year and is the third highest on record. Area for harvest, at 75.3 million acres, is up 2 percent from 2011. Record high planted acreage is estimated in New York, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania, and the planted area in South Dakota ties the previous record high.
Farmers in Kentucky set an estimated 71,000 acres of burley tobacco for harvest. This was up 7,000 acres from 2011. Tobacco companies have been signaling a desire for more burley tobacco this year offering more contracts than last year. Dark fire-cured tobacco acreage set was estimated at 9,000 acres, down 100 acres from the previous year. Dark air-cured tobacco acreage was estimated at 3,500 acres, down 900 from a year ago. Burley Producing States acreage for harvest was estimated at 96,800 acres, up 9 percent from last year.
Winter wheat seeded acreage in Kentucky was estimated at 580,000 acres, up 40,000 from the previous year. Acreage harvested for grain was estimated at 470,000 acres, up 30,000 acres from 2011 and up 20,000 from March forecasted acreage. The U.S. winter wheat planted area was estimated at 41.8 million acres, up 3 percent from 2011. Area harvested for grain was forecast at 35.0 million acres, up 8 percent from last year and down 2 percent from the previous estimate.
Alfalfa hay acreage in Kentucky was estimated at 200,000 acres, down 10,000 from the 2011 crop. All other hay acreage was estimated at 2.20 million acres, up 100,000 acres from a year ago. The U.S. all hay acreage was estimated at 57.7 million acres, up 4 percent from 2011.