LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2019) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the Crop Production 2018 Summary today, highlighting a record high soybean production and a decline in corn production.
“Rain characterized much of the 2018 growing season,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “While it generally had a positive effect on crop growth, excessive rains kept crops from reaching their full potential and complicated harvest. Soybean production reached a record high level based on an increase in harvested acres. Corn yield and acres were below last year, dropping production from last year and the 2016 level.”
Corn production in Kentucky is estimated at 215 million bushels, down 3 percent from the November forecast and down 1 percent from the previous crop. Yield was estimated at 175 bushels per acre, down 4 bushels from the November forecast and down 3 bushels from the 2017 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 1.23 million acres, up 10,000 acres from 2017. The U.S. corn production is estimated at 14.4 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the 2017 estimate. The average yield in the United States is estimated at 176.4 bushels per acre, 0.2 bushels below the 2017 average yield. Area harvested for grain is estimated at 81.7 million acres, down 1 percent from the 2017 acreage.
Soybean production for Kentucky is estimated at 103 million bushels, down 4 percent from the November forecast and up 1 percent from 2017. Yield was estimated at 52 bushels per acre, down 2 bushels from last month and down 1.0 bushel from a year ago. Acreage for harvest as beans was estimated at 1.99 million acres, up 50,000 acres from the previous year. U.S. soybean production is forecast at 4.54 billion bushels, up 3 percent from last year. The average yield per acre is estimated at 51.6 bushels, up 2.3 bushels from last year. Area harvested is down 2 percent from 2017 at 88.1 million acres.
Knopf added that, “Tobacco took the hardest hit from weather conditions. As the growing season came to a close, yield was drastically cut by excessive rain.”
Kentucky burley tobacco production is estimated at 80.0 million pounds, down 11 percent from the October forecast and down 38 percent from 2017. Yield was estimated at 1,600 pounds per acre, down 100 pounds from the October forecast and down 450 pounds from the 2017 crop. Harvested acreage was estimated at 50,000 acres, down 13,000 acres from last year’s crop. For the burley producing states production is estimated at 100 million pounds, down 38 percent from last year. Burley growers harvested 61,050 acres, down 25 percent from 2017. Yields were estimated at 1,645 pounds per acre, down 332 pounds from last year.
Production of Kentucky dark fire-cured tobacco is estimated at 35.2 million pounds, down 7 percent from the previous year. Dark air-cured tobacco production is estimated at 19.2 million pounds, up 18 percent from last year.
Alfalfa hay production by Kentucky farmers is estimated at 450,000 tons, down 26 percent the 2017 level. Other hay production is estimated at 4.64 million tons, up 2 percent from last year.