Kentucky Ag News


NASS publishes winter wheat county estimates


National Agricultural Statistics Service


LOUISVILLE - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the first of its county estimates today from the 2016 production year.


Christian County is the leading wheat producing county in Kentucky for 2016, with production totaling 5,498,000 bushels, harvested from 67,000 acres. The top five counties, which account for 52 percent of Kentucky’s wheat production, include:

  • Christian County – 5,498,000 bushels
  • Logan County – 3,822,000 bushels
  • Todd County – 2,838,000 bushels
  • Simpson County – 2,622,000 bushels
  • Graves County – 1,981,000 bushels


Warren County had the highest yield at 90.1 bushels per acre, setting a new statewide record. The previous record was set in 2013 by Union County with 85.7 bushels per acre. The top five counties for yield include:

  • Warren County – 90.1 bushels per acre
  • Wayne County – 89 bushels per acre
  • Christian County – 88.0 bushels per acre
  • Barren County – 84.3 bushels per acre
  • Trigg County – 84.1 bushels per acre.


“It was one of those years farmers hope for, but seldom get,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Anything that could go wrong, largely didn’t. Favorable weather conditions and adequate moisture held throughout the growing season. Harvest conditions were nearly ideal, allowing for a quick harvest and good quality grain.”

Kentucky farmers harvested 32 million bushels of winter wheat during the summer of 2016, down slightly from 2015. Yield is a record high 80 bushels per acre, up seven bushels from 2015. Farmers harvested 400,000 acres for grain, and another 110,000 acres were used as cover crop, cut as forage or abandoned. Kentucky ranks 15th in U.S. wheat production.

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.”

For more information about NASS’s process of calculating county estimates, visit the NASS website here and here.

The complete listing of winter wheat county estimates for each county is available online at For more information, call the NASS Kentucky Field Office at (800) 928-5277.