Farmers in Kentucky See Record Receipts. Here's Why.
Kentucky farmers achieved a record $5.67 billion in farm cash receipts in 2013, the National Agricultural Statistics Service announced Tuesday.
"These statistics prove that Kentucky's investments in diversifying and modernizing our agriculture industry and developing our local food economy are paying off," Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. "We benefited from an excellent growing season and strong prices for row crops, cattle, and horses in 2013. But Kentucky's farmers deserve all the credit for adapting to the many changes in Kentucky agriculture over the past 15 years and making their operations more efficient and profitable. Congratulations to Kentucky's farmers on a great year."
Total farm cash receipts were up 16.8 percent over the total of $4.86 billion for 2012, according to NASS.
Poultry and eggs remained Kentucky's top agricultural commodity in 2013 with farm sales of $1.2 billion, 15.1 percent above the 2012 total, NASS reported. Soybeans were next at just over $1 billion (a 45.5 percent jump over 2012), followed by cattle and calves at $836 million (up 27.3 percent) and corn at $766 million (down 12.2 percent). Cash receipts from sales of tobacco were down less than 1 percent at $404.3 million.
Sales of horses and mules totaled $392.3 million in 2013, a 30.2 percent increase over the previous year. NASS revised its method of calculating equine sales to include only equine owned by Kentucky farms, explained David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Field Office. The figure for horses and mules formerly included equine owned by farms and non-farms, Knopf said.
Cash receipts were balanced between crops (50.7 percent) and livestock (49.3 percent), the NASS report stated.
"I feel like we still have plenty of room to grow," Comer said. "The Kentucky Department of Agriculture will continue to do its part by helping our farmers find new markets for their products, protecting our livestock herds from foreign animal disease, and standing up for Kentucky's farmers in Frankfort and Washington."