LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the Crop Production 2017 Summary, highlighting a record breaking year for corn yields and soybean yields and production.
“Crop conditions looked relatively good all season, and looks can sometimes be deceiving, but in this case it wasn’t,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Yields for corn, soybeans and tobacco strongly rebounded from last year when weather conditions limited yield.”
Corn yield set a new record high of 178 bushels per acre.
“That’s six bushels more than the previous record in 2015,” Knopf said. “Production was down from last year, based on fewer harvested acres, but ranks as the fifth largest corn crop grown in the state.”
Corn production in Kentucky is estimated at 217 million bushels, down one percent from the November forecast and down two percent from the previous crop. Yield was estimated at 178 bushels per acre, up one bushel from the November forecast and up 19 bushels from the 2016 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 1.22 million acres, down 180,000 acres from 2016. The U.S. corn production is estimated at 14.6 billion bushels, up slightly from the November forecast and down four percent from the revised 2016 estimate. The average yield in the United States is estimated at 176.6 bushels per acre. This is up 1.2 bushels from the November forecast and two bushels above the revised 2016 average yield. Area harvested for grain is estimated at 82.7 million acres, down one percent from the November forecast and down five percent from the revised 2016 acreage.
“The soybean crop is the largest on record in Kentucky, outpacing the previous record by 16 percent,” Knopf said. “Soybean productivity has reached a new level given that four of the five highest yields have occurred in the last five years. The 2017 yield surpassed the previous record of 50 bushels per acre, achieved in both 2013 and 2016.”
Soybean production for Kentucky is estimated at 103 million bushels, up two percent from the November forecast and up 16 percent from 2016. Yield was estimated at 53 bushels per acre, up one bushels from last month and up three bushels from a year ago. Acreage for harvest as beans was estimated at 1.94 million acres, up 160,000 acres from the previous year. U.S. soybean production is forecast at 4.39 billion bushels, down one percent from the November forecast and up two percent from last year. The average yield per acre is estimated at 49.1 bushels, down 0.4 bushels from last month and down 2.9 bushels from last year. Area harvested is up eight percent from 2016 at 89.5 million acres.
“Tobacco yields returned to average levels following last year’s growing season, which was adversely affected by weather and disease,” Knopf said. “Production was higher for all three tobacco types.”
Kentucky burley tobacco production is estimated at 129 million pounds, down two percent from the October forecast and up 21 percent from 2016. Yield was estimated at 2,050 pounds per acre, down 50 pounds from October forecast and up 300 pounds from the 2016 crop. Harvested acreage was estimated at 63,000 acres, up 2,000 acres from last year’s crop. For the burley producing states production is estimated at 161 million pounds, up 15 percent from last year. Burley growers harvested 81,500 acres, up two percent from 2016. Yields were estimated at 1,977 pounds per acre, up 230 pounds from last year.
Production of Kentucky dark fire-cured tobacco is estimated at 38 million pounds, up 74 percent from the previous year. Dark air-cured tobacco production is estimated at 16.2 million pounds, up 111 percent from last year.
Alfalfa hay production by Kentucky farmers is estimated at 525,000 tons, down three percent the 2016 level. Other hay production is estimated at 4.80 million tons, down five percent from last year.
To view the complete report, visit https://release.nass.usda.gov/reports/cropan18.pdf. For more information, call the NASS Kentucky Field Office at (800) 928-5277.
— USDA NASS Kentucky Field Office
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