What Farm Receipts Say About the Health of the Horse Industry in Kentucky
In 2011, Kentucky's farm receipts are expected to top $5 billion for the first time, thanks to Kentucky's health agriculture economy as well as high prices for corn. Looking at Kentucky's top crops by receipts, the landscape continues to change.
2011 farmcash estimates (in millions)
Where tobacco once ruled the economy, Kentucky farmers have adapted and succeeded.
This year's farm economy is a far different one from a decade ago, when tobacco and horses far outweighed all others, said Scott Smith, UK agriculture dean.
He said that he does not expect one crop to be that dominant again, thanks in part to the diversification fostered by the Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy and the state Department of Agriculture's emphasis on a wider variety of crops in the post-tobacco landscape.
"The buyout worked," Smith said. "We've basically succeeded in diversifying. We thought there was some magic (crop) -- hemp, aquaculture -- but no one crop will dominate from now on."
Horses rank only as the fourth largest "crop", lower than recent second-place finishes, but the lowered ranking is due to the success of other crops and not a decline of the equine economy in Kentucky.
Beef cattle and horses, both stronger this year, will be close behind poultry and corn at 14 percent each, followed by soybeans at 12 percent, other farm commodities such as fruits and vegetables at 11 percent, tobacco at 8 percent, and dairy at 5 percent.
Horse Farms in Kentucky are buoyant, and Kentucky's agriculture economy is able to succeed and adapt regardless.