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Crop prospects as of August 1 appear to be mostly good for Kentucky crops in 2011. Yields are projected to be above 2010 levels, according to the Kentucky Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
In spite of a very wet spring, flooding in some areas, and very hot summer weather, most crops have developed well. However, crops in some locations were beginning to show signs of stress due to lack of rain and high heat. All forecasts in this release are based on conditions as of August 1 and assume normal growing conditions for the remainder of the crop season.
Corn production in Kentucky was forecast at 194.3 million bushels, up 27 percent from the previous crop. Both acres for harvest and expected yield are up from the previous year. Yield was estimated at 145 bushels per acre, up 21 bushels from the 2010 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 1.34 million acres, up 110,000 acres from 2010. The wet spring delayed corn planting but the crop is maturing fairly well. Expected yields showed wide variances within geographic localities. Condition of the corn crop statewide was mostly good to fair. The U.S. corn production was forecast at 12.9 billion bushels, up 4 percent from 2010. If realized, this would be the third largest production total on record for the United States. Based on conditions as of August 1, yields were expected to average 153.0 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushel from 2010, and the fourth highest yield on record.
Soybean production for Kentucky was forecast at 60.0 million bushels, an increase of 27 percent from 2010. Both acres for harvest and expected yield are up from the previous year. Yield was estimated at 40 bushels per acre, 6 bushels above a year ago.
Acreage for harvest as beans was estimated at 1.50 million acres, up 110,000 acres from the previous year. Lack of rain during July has caused problems for double cropped soybeans in some areas. As of August 1, the soybean crop was in mostly good to fair condition. U.S. soybean production was forecast at 3.06 billion bushels, down 8 percent from last year. Based on August 1 conditions, yields were expected to average 41.4 bushels per acre, down 2.1 bushels from last year.
Kentucky burley tobacco production was forecast at 126 million pounds, down 10 percent from 2010. The decrease in production resulted from smaller harvested acreage. Yield was projected at 2,000 pounds per acre, up 50 pounds from the 2010 crop. Harvested acreage was estimated at 63,000 acres, down 9,000 acres from last year’s crop. Development of the burley crop is somewhat behind both last year and the five year average. Condition of the crop was mostly good to fair. For the burley producing states production was forecast at 178 million pounds, down 5 percent from last year. Burley growers plan to harvest 90,000 acres, down 8 percent from 2010. Yields were expected to average 1,980 pounds per acre, up 58 pounds from last year.
Production of Kentucky dark fire-cured tobacco was forecast at 30.7 million pounds, up 6 percent from the previous year. Dark air-cured tobacco production was forecast at 12.2 million pounds, down slightly from last year.
Production of hay by Kentucky farmers was forecast to be slightly below last year mainly due to fewer acres for harvest. Rain early this spring caused some problems with curing and baling, and a hot and dry July has reduced yield prospects.
Alfalfa hay production was forecast at 775,000 tons, 20 percent above the 2010 level. Other hay production was estimated at 4.83 million tons, down 5 percent from last year.