Growers Plan to Set Fewest Burley Tobacco Acres on Record
National Agricultural Statistics Service
LOUISVILLE (March 29, 2018) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the Prospective Plantings report today, showing lower corn and burley tobacco planting intentions, but higher soybean acres in 2018.
Burley tobacco growers in Kentucky intend to set 57,000 acres for harvest, down 6,000 acres from 2017. For the burley producing states, growers intend to set 72,900 acres, down 8,600 from last year.
“This will be the lowest burley tobacco acreage on record, just below the 58,000 harvested in 2015,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Tobacco buyers are contracting fewer acres, and growing expenses have been increasing more than prices received for burley in recent years.”
Farmers in Kentucky intend to plant 1.28 million acres of corn, 40,000 lower than 2017. U.S. corn growers intend to plant 88 million acres for all purposes in 2018, down two percent from last year and six percent from 2016.
Soybean acreage in Kentucky was expected to total two million acres, up 50,000 acres from the previous year. U.S. soybean planted area for 2018 is estimated at 89 million acres, down one percent from last year.
“Returns on soybeans continue to be the more attractive option for producers compared to corn,” Knopf said. “Growers typically follow a cropping rotation between soybeans and corn, so planned changes in those acreages aren’t drastically different from 2017. If planting intentions follow through, this would be another record high acreage exceeding last year’s plantings.”
Producers intend to set 12,000 acres of dark-fired tobacco in Kentucky, up 500 acres from the previous year. Acreage set to dark-air tobacco was estimated at 5,000 acres, down 1,000 acres from 2017.
Winter wheat seeded by Kentucky farmers in the fall of 2017 totaled 440,000 acres, down 40,000 acres from previous year. Seeded acreage for the nation was 32.7 million acres, up slightly from 2016.
Farmers in the state intend to harvest 2.1 million acres of all hay, down 80,000 acres from 2017. U.S. farmers intend on harvesting 53.7 million acres of hay in 2018, down slightly from last year. The acreage of all hay harvested during a summer depends to a great measure on the moisture received during the growing season and temperatures experienced. With a drier summer farmers will cut more hay to feed their cattle.
“We appreciate farmers who participated in the March Agricultural Survey,” Knopf said. “The next acreage report will be released June 29.”
To view the complete report, click here. For more information, call the NASS Kentucky Field Office at (800) 928-5277.