Kentucky farm cash receipts did not exceed $5 billion in 2011 as was predicted late in the year, but it came close. At the end of 2011, cash receipts totaled $4,918,322 – a 10 percent growth over 2010.
At $952.8 million, poultry continues to be the state’s top-dollar product. Cash receipts for poultry accounted for nearly 20 percent of all receipts in 2011. While poultry continues to hold the No. 1 spot, it did not experience any significant growth in 2011, surpassing 2010 receipts by just $186,000.
Poultry first surpassed the horse industry as Kentucky’s top crop in 2009. Equine cash receipts grew 14 percent this year to $800 million, but horses still have a long way to run (19 percent based on this year’s numbers) to catch back up to poultry.
Several commodities experienced significant growth, including greenhouse/nursery products, which grew 143 percent (from $81.9 million in 2010 to $199.2 million in 2011). Wool surged ahead 34 percent, corn was up 31 percent to $786 million, and other livestock sales increased by 21 percent.
Dairy products also increased, by 14 percent over 2010 and 40 percent over 2009. Hogs continued to gain ground last year. Sales were up 11 percent over 2010 to $119 million, an increase of 61 percent over 2009. Soybeans remained steady in 2011 at $601.2 million.
Growth in the past two years is related to the boom in exports and the strong demand for grains for biofuel production, said Will Snell of the University of Kentucky Extension Service. Exports of farm commodities plunged in 2009, but climbed back in 2010 and 2011.
Net cash farm income also was up in 2011 by nearly 10 percent, to $1.87 million, according to the USDA.
On the Down Side
In 2011, tobacco continued its downward trend by 2 percent, dropping to $325.2 million. Since 2009, tobacco sales are down 17.7 percent. Other commodities categories that declined are: aquaculture, honey, greenhouse and nursery, and fruit and nuts.
Kentucky Farm Facts
– More than half of the land in Kentucky (14 million acres) is farmland.
– The state ranks fourth in number of farms behind Texas, Missouri and Iowa.
– The average farm size is 164 acres and the average value of land and buildings on farms is $2,850 per acre.
– Kentucky producers received over $3 million in FY 2011 for damage because of flooding.