Kentucky farmers will soon be getting crops reports they use for market information and to make decisions about spring planting. The U.S. Department of Agriculture office in Kentucky that does those reports was closed during the government shutdown, but now - it’s open.
David Knopf is regional director for the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, based in Louisville. He said crop reports that were due out on Jan. 11 are now scheduled to be published Feb. 8.
Knopf said the report on corn, soybeans and wheat that’s in storage is especially valuable to Kentucky farmers.
“The amount of grain that’s currently in storage has a big impact on what the current market price is going to be,” said Knopf. “Not only what is stored in Kentucky or the U.S. but even around the world, they’re looking at all those different factors because they know that the people that are buying these commodities are looking at all that data too.”
He said farmers use the reports to help them decide when to sell their crops that are in storage, especially soybeans, which have been impacted by trade issues with China. Winter is also a critical time to make decisions for spring planting.
“Another factor they’re looking at is what kind of return might they might get for what they plant in 2019,” said Knopf. “Some commodities are going to do better than others. Each year it tends to be a little bit different depending on the different economic forces, or sometimes weather conditions.”
The other reports that were suspended but are now in-progress are the final estimates of Kentucky’s 2018 crop production and winter wheat seedings that were planted in the fall.