Kentucky Ag News

Kentucky soybean plantings at a record high


National Agricultural Statistics Service


LOUISVILLE - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the Acreage and Grain Stocks reports on June 30, showing soybean planted acreage is a record high.


“Planting conditions were relatively normal, allowing farmers to put in the crops they had planned,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Corn acreage fell to the lowest level since 2010, but soybean planted acreage is a record high, exceeding the 1.84 million acres in 2015. Economic conditions favor soybeans over corn this year and crop rotation decisions also led to more soybeans acres, following larger corn acreage last year.”

Soybeans planted in Kentucky were estimated at 1.9 million acres, up 110,000 acres from 2016. Acres harvested for grain, at 1.89 million acres, was 110,000 acres above acres a year ago. U.S. soybean planted area for 2017 was estimated at 89.5 million acres, up 7 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 88.7 million acres, is up 7 percent from 2016.

Acreage planted to corn in Kentucky was estimated at 1.35 million acres, down 150,000 acres from 2016. Acres harvested for grain was estimated at 1.26 million acres, down 140,000 acres from last year.


The U.S. corn planted for all purposes in 2017 was estimated at 90.9 million acres, down 3 acres from last year. Growers expect to harvest 83.5 million acres for grain, down 4 percent from last year.

Farmers in Kentucky intend to set an estimated 60,000 acres of burley tobacco for harvest. This was down 1,000 from the 2016 level. Dark fire-cured tobacco acreage set was estimated at 10,000 acres, up 500 acres from the previous year. Dark air-cured tobacco acreage was estimated at 5,000 acres, up 200 from a year ago. Burley producing states acreage for harvest was estimated at 80,500 acres, 1 percent above last year.

“Tobacco acreage has been hovering around 60,000 acres the past three years as farmers and buyers contract acreage consistent with demand,” Knopf said. “The first production forecasts for corn, soybeans and tobacco will be published August 10. A sample of farmers will be surveyed during the first week of August to gather yield expectations.”

Other Kentucky Estimations

Winter wheat seeded acreage in Kentucky was estimated at 460,000 acres, 50,000 acres below the previous year. Acreage harvested for grain was estimated at 340,000 acres, 60,000 acres below 2016.


The U.S. winter wheat planted area was estimated at 32.8 million acres, down nine percent from 2016. Area harvested for grain was forecast at 25.8 million acres, down 15 percent from last year.

Alfalfa hay acreage in Kentucky was estimated at 150,000 acres, unchanged from the 2016 crop. All other hay was estimated at 2.10 million acres, also unchanged from a year ago. The U.S. All hay acreage was estimated at 53.5 million acres, up slightly from 2016.

“We recognize this is a hectic time for farmers, but the information they provide helps Kentucky and U.S. agriculture remain viable and capable,” Knopf said.

NASS gathered data for the June Agricultural Survey earlier this month. Growers provided information on crop acreage, grain stocks, livestock inventory, cash rents, land values, and value of sales. These surveys make available an objective snapshot of agricultural crop acreages, grain stocks, and other agricultural production in Kentucky.

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 the NASS Kentucky website.