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Christian County Tops Kentucky Wheat Production

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the first of its county estimates today from the 2018 production year.  

Christian County is the leading wheat producing county in Kentucky for 2018, with production totaling 3,247,000 bushels, harvested from 46,200 acres. The top five counties, which account for 61 percent of Kentucky’s wheat production, include:

  • Christian County – 3,247,000 bushels

  • Logan County – 2,737,000 bushels

  • Todd County – 1,918,000 bushels

  • Simpson County – 1,698,000 bushels

  • Graves County – 1,270,000 bushels 

Union County had the highest yield at 74.8 bushels per acre. The top five counties for yield include:

  • Union County – 74.8 bushels per acre

  • Simpson County – 71.9 bushels per acre

  • Todd County – 71.3 bushels per acre

  • Christian County – 70.3 bushels per acre

  • Trigg County – 69.9 bushels per acre.

 “The 2018 Kentucky wheat crop will not be remembered as a good crop, and for many growers it was one of their worst crops,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “A cool, wet spring weather held back growth and increased disease pressure. June storms further reduced yields and resulted in lighter than average test weights.” 

Kentucky farmers harvested 19.8 million bushels of winter wheat during the summer of 2018, down seventeen percent from 2017. Yield is 66 bushels per acre, down eleven bushels from 2017. Farmers harvested 300,000 acres for grain, and another 150,000 acres were used as cover crop, cut as forage or abandoned. Kentucky ranks 18th in U.S. wheat production. 

County-level estimates are used by other USDA agencies for farm programs and risk protection programs many farmers rely on to protect their operations. 

“Farm Service Agency (FSA) relies on the county-level estimates for Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC), County Loan Rates, and its disaster program calculations,” Knopf said. “The Risk Management Agency (RMA) uses the data for administering the Area Risk Protection Insurance Plan and establishment of transitional yields. When drought and flooding impact crop production, or even in a year with good yields, these data are crucial to the agriculture industry.”

ProductionJennifer Elwell