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Most Kentucky crops were in good to fair condition as of Sept. 1, according to the Kentucky Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Lack of rain and unusually high temperatures during August lowered yield prospects for row crops and burley tobacco. All forecasts in this release are based on conditions as of Sept. 1 and assume normal growing conditions for the remainder of the crop season.
Corn production in Kentucky was forecast at 186.3 million bushels, down 4 percent from the August forecast but 22 percent above the 2010 production level. Lower yield prospects more than offset the increase in acres to be harvested for grain. Yield was forecast at 139 bushels per acre, down 6 bushels from the August forecast but above the drought reduced 2010 yield of 124 bushels per acre. Acreage harvested for grain, at 1.34 million acres, was up 110,000 acres from the 2010 crop. U.S. corn production was forecast at 12.5 billion bushels, down 3 percent from the August forecast, but up fractionally from 2010. If realized, this would be the third largest production total on record for the United States. Based on conditions as of Sept. 1, yields were expected to average 148.1 bushels per acre, down 4.9 bushels from the Aug. 1 forecast and down 4.7 bushels from 2010. If realized, this would be the lowest average yield in the United States since 2005.
Soybean production by Kentucky farmers was forecast at 55.5 million bushels, down 7 percent from the August estimate but 17 percent above 2010. Lower yields more than offset an increase in acreage for harvest. Yield was estimated at 37 bushels per acre, 3 bushels below the August forecast but 3 bushels above the 2010 level. Harvested acreage was forecast at 1.50 million acres, 110,000 acres above the previous year. Lack of rain in the major producing areas has reduced yields especially for double crop beans. U.S. soybean production was forecast at 3.09 billion bushels, up 1 percent from August but down 7 percent from last year. Based on Sept. 1 conditions, yields were expected to average 41.8 bushels per acre, up 0.4 bushel from last month but down 1.7 bushels from last year.
Kentucky burley tobacco production for Sept. 1 was forecast at 119.7 million pounds, down 5 percent from August and 15 percent below 2010. Burley yield, projected at 1,900 pounds per acre was down 100 pounds from the previous month. Burley acreage is down as fewer acres are under contract. Dry conditions in August reduced yield prospects. Production for the Burley Producing States totaled 170 million pounds, down 5 percent from the previous month and 9 percent below last year.
Kentucky dark fire-cured tobacco was forecast at 30.7 million pounds, unchanged from the August forecast and up 6 percent from 2010. Dark air-cured tobacco was estimated at 12.2 million pounds, unchanged from the August forecast and down slightly from last year.
—Courtesy of United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service Kentucky Field Office