soybeans

Kentucky Corn Growers Association

Many segments of the economy have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is positive news for Kentucky agriculture.

Corn and soybean crops are having a very good year.

Kentucky farmers are forecast to harvest 259 million bushels of corn this year, an increase of six percent over 2019. 

David Knopf is regional director of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service based in Louisville. He said the temperature and rainfall have been good for corn, and harvesting is expected to continue for a few more weeks.

Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association

In spite of challenges from the weather, Kentucky farmers boosted production of winter wheat by 27 percent for the 2019 season over the past year. 

Kentucky farmers planted 460,000 acres of winter wheat last fall, an increase of 10,000 acres over the previous season.

David Knopf is director of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Office in Louisville. He said the initial seeding of those acres wasn’t promising.  

“Winter wheat production for the 2019 crop season turned out to be a relatively pleasant surprise," said Knopf. "It got off to a slow start last fall when there was a lot of rain and prevented farmers from getting the fields planted.”

But Knopf said the weather cooperated during the spring and early summer and that brought in a harvest that was a 27 percent increase over the previous year.  


Something strange is happening to Pengyin Chen's soybean experiments at the University of Missouri's Fisher Delta Research Center in Portageville, Mo.

"You see how small they are?" says Chen, gesturing at a field filled with thousands of small plots of soybeans.

Nicole Erwin I Ohio Valley ReSource

Ohio Valley farmers say the latest tariff escalation between the Trump administration and China could continue to hurt their businesses, with many farmers already facing financial struggles.  

As Chinese officials visit Washington, D.C., for more trade talks, the Trump administration announced this week increased tariffs, planned to go into effect Friday, on $200 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods, accusing the country of reneging on trade promises.


KY Grains

The new U.S. Department of Agriculture census released April 11 shows mid-sized farms in Kentucky farms are on the decline.

The new USDA Census of Agriculture is based on data collected from farms across the country for the year 2017. That census is done very five years, so the 2017 state-by-state data is compared to previous statistics from 2012.

David Knopf is regional director of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service based Louisville. He said the new census confirms a trend in Kentucky that the number of  small and large farms are increasing, while those in the middle are disappearing. 


University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture

Trade disputes between the U.S. and other countries are leaving many Kentucky farmers uncertain about the global market for soybeans. The crop has been the state’s largest agricultural export.

Kentucky farmers told the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service regional  office in Louisville they’re expecting to plant 1.75-million acres of soybeans this year. That’s down from two million acres of soybeans last year, a decrease of 12 percent.

Director of the regional office David Knopf said there’s a natural rotation of fields between soybeans and corn, and Kentucky’s soybean acres planned for this year are within a five-year average. But Knopf said the 12 percent decline is noticeable. 


Warren County Agriculture/Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Agriculture 2018 crop report for Kentucky shows both  Henderson and Christian counties among the state’s leaders in production. 

Henderson County led the state in soybean production with 5.4 million bushels grown on 102,400 acres.

Christian County was the leader in corn production with 12.8 million bushels grown on 72,500 acres.

But Ohio County came in strong by getting the most yield per acre for both those crops.

Ohio County farmers harvested 59.6 bushels of soybeans per acre last year, compared to Henderson County’s 53 bushels per acre.

Liam Niemeyer

Western Kentucky Farmer Barry Alexander doesn’t have an answer on when the Trump administration will reach a trade deal with China, now a year into tariffs that have hamstrung some Ohio Valley industries.

Alexander is optimistic these continued negotiations will be worth it, but his plan in the meantime lies in massive, silver storage bins on Cundiff Farms, the 13,000-acre operation he manages.

He pulls a lever, and out tumbles a downpour of pale yellow soybeans.


USsoy.org

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that Kentucky soybean farmers harvested a record breaking crop last year, with 103 million bushels. That’s up one percent from the previous year. The increase was due mainly to more acreage, with 50,000 additional acres of soybeans planted across Kentucky last year.

But that record harvest is facing market forces impacted by America’s tariff and trade disputes, especially with China.  Some Kentucky soybean farmers are storing the beans, trying to wait until market conditions improve. 

United Soybean Board

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. 

United Soybean Board

Kentucky soybean farmers are expected to harvest a slightly larger yield than last year, but less than initially predicted.

David Knopf is director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service in Kentucky. He said the initial forecast for Kentucky soybeans was a yield of 57 bushels per acre this year. The current estimated yield is 54 bushels per acre, slightly above last year’s yield of 53 bushels per acre.  

Kentucky farmers planted nearly two million acres of soybeans this year.  Knopf said about one-quarter of those beans have not yet been harvested. He said excessive rain over the past couple of months is one factor that’s reduced the quality and yield of this year’s crop.