The results of this year’s severe drought across much of Kentucky are evident nowhere else more than in the most recent predictions regarding this year’s corn crop.
One year after yields were near all-time records for the commonwealth, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says yields this year are only expected to be 65 bushels per acre on average. That’s down from 74 bushels per acre last year. It’s also important to note the yield is much lower the farther west one goes in Kentucky, as the drought was at its worst in the Purchase area.
Despite acreage being up, production is expected to fall to 96.9 million bushels overall, down by 46 percent from last year. Droughts across the country will likely mark a 13 percent decrease in corn production to 10.8 billion bushels—the lowest number since 2006.
The Kentucky soybean crop isn’t faring much better, as production is forecast at 40-million bushels. That would be a 31-percent drop from last year.
Also notable, production of hay in Kentucky is down on all accounts. Alfalfa Hay is forecasted at 520-thousand tons, 27-percent below last year’s level. Other hay production was estimated at 3.52 million tons down 24-percent from last year.
While the rains from Hurricane Isaac are certainly welcomed in Kentucky, they came months too late for most farmers.