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Kentucky Winter Wheat Production Down 15 Percent
Kentucky Ag Connection - 10/01/2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2020 Small Grains Summary report Wednesday, showing a decrease in Kentucky's winter wheat production from a year ago. Production fell 15% from last year resulting from a 13 bushel drop in yield.

Growing conditions for the 2020 wheat crop in the Commonwealth were generally good, until late spring frosts cut production. "In December last year the crop was rated 90% good and excellent, 30 points above the 5-year average", said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. "In the end, freezing temperatures in mid-April and again in early May, resulted in a disappointing crop". The combined loss of yield and fewer acres of harvested grain combined to reduce production from last year.

Farmers harvested 21.4 million bushels of winter wheat during the summer of 2020. This was down 15% from the previous year. Yield is estimated at 63.0 bushels per acre, down 13.0 bushels from 2019. Farmers seeded 510,000 acres last fall, up 50,000 acres from 2019. Area harvested for grain totaled 340,000 acres. Acres for other uses totaled 170,000 acres and was used as cover crop, cut as hay, chopped for silage or abandoned.

Production of all wheat for the U.S. totaled 1.83 billion bushels, down 5% from 2019. Grain area harvested totaled 36.7 million acres, down 2% from the previous year. The United States yield is estimated at 49.7 bushels per acre, down 2.0 bushels from last year. The levels of production and changes from 2019 by type are winter wheat, 1.17 billion bushels, down 11%; other spring wheat, 586 million bushels, up 4%, and durum wheat, 68.8 million bushels, up 28%.

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