Yield Forecasts For KY Crops Improve

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the September Crop Production report today, showing increased yield forecasts for field crops.

“Based on producer reports, soybean, corn and tobacco yield forecasts increased from a month ago,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Rainfall in the middle of August was very timely, improving an already good situation. The soybean yield forecast September 1 is 57 bushels per acre, which if realized, would break the current record high yield of 53 bushels per acre.”

Soybean production for Kentucky is forecast at 119 million bushels, up 8 percent from the August forecast and up 16 percent from 2017.  Yield was estimated at 57.0 bushels per acre, up 4.0 from last month.  Acreage for harvest as beans was estimated at 2.09 million acres, up 150,000 acres from the previous year.  U.S. soybean production is forecast at 4.69 billion bushels, up 2 percent from the August forecast but up 7 percent from last year.  Based on September 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 52.8 bushels per acre, up 1.2 bushels from last month but up 3.7 bushels from last year.  Area for harvest is forecast at 88.9 million acres, unchanged from the August forecast but down 1 percent from 2017.

“Reports from early corn harvest are suggesting state-wide yields will be better than the five year average of 167 bushels per acre,” Knopf added. Corn production in Kentucky is forecast at 214 million bushels, up 1 percent from the August forecast but down 1 percent from the 2017 crop.  Yield was estimated at 177 bushels per acre, up 2.0 bushels from last month and down 1.0 bushel from last year.  Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 1.21 million acres, down 10,000 acres from 2017.  The U.S. corn production is forecast at 14.8 billion bushels, up 2 percent from the August forecast and up 2 percent from last year’s record production.  Based on conditions as of September 1, yields are expected to average 181.3 bushels per acre, up 2.9 bushels from last month and up 4.7 bushels from 2017.  Area harvested for grain is forecast at 81.8 million acres, unchanged from the August forecast but down 1 percent from 2017.

Kentucky burley tobacco production is forecast at 106 million pounds, up 1 percent from the August forecast but down 18 percent from 2017.  Yield was projected at 2,000 pounds per acre, up 100 pounds from last month but down 50 pounds from the 2017 crop.  Harvested acreage was estimated at 53,000 acres, down 10,000 acres from last year’s crop.  For the burley producing states production is forecast at 129 million pounds, down 20 percent from last year. Burley growers plan to harvest 64,800 acres, down 20 percent from 2017.  Yields were expected to average 1,996 pounds per acre, up 19 pounds from last year.

Production of Kentucky dark fire-cured tobacco is forecast at 35.2 million pounds, unchanged from the August forecast but down 7 percent from the previous year.  Dark air-cured tobacco production is forecast at 19.4 million pounds, up 20 percent from the August forecast last year.

NASS gathered data for the September Agricultural Yield Survey earlier this month. The monthly yield surveys begin in May with the focus on small grains through July and shifts to row crops beginning in August through the remainder of the growing season.

All reports are available on the NASS website: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/Calendar/reports_by_date.php.

For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Kentucky Field Office at (800) 928-5277, or visit https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Kentucky/.

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