Kentucky farmers plan fewer soybean, tobacco acres but more corn in 2019

LOUISVILLE (March 29, 2019) – Kentucky growers indicate they will plant more corn acreage but lower soybean and burley tobacco acres in 2019, according to the Prospective Plantings report released today by the Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

“It’s the lowest soybean acreage since 2013, but not really a surprise,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Growers typically stick to a corn, soybean rotation and last year bean acreage was a record high. Soybean market uncertainty, caused largely by trade disruption, is clearly another factor contributing to fewer acres.”

Soybean acreage in Kentucky was expected to total 1.75 million acres, down 250,000 acres from the previous year. U.S. soybean planted area for 2019 is estimated at 84.6 million acres, down 5 percent from last year.

Farmers in Kentucky intend to plant 1.43 million acres of corn, up 90,000 acres from 2018. U.S. corn growers intend to plant 92.8 million acres for all purposes in 2019, up 4 percent from last year.

Burley tobacco growers in Kentucky intend to set 45,000 acres for harvest, down 5,000 acres from 2018. For the burley producing states, growers intend to set 53,800 acres, 7,250 fewer acres than last year.

Producers intend to set 8,000 acres of dark-fired tobacco in Kentucky, down 3,000 acres from the previous year. Acreage set to dark-air tobacco was estimated at 5,000 acres, down 2,100 acres from 2018.

Winter wheat seeded by Kentucky farmers in the fall of 2018 totaled 450,000 acres, unchanged from the previous year. Seeded acreage for the nation was 31.5 million acres, down 3 percent from 2017.

Farmers in the state intend to harvest 2.00 million acres of all hay, up 105,000 acres from 2018. U.S. farmers intend on harvesting 53.1 million acres of hay in 2019, up slightly from last year.

“Grower surveys make this data possible, and I want to thank them for the time they took to complete their survey,” Knopf said. The acreage estimates in this report are based on a survey conducted during the first two weeks of March. Data from operators was collected by mail, internet, telephone, or personal interview to obtain information on crop acreage intentions for the 2019 crop year.

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