Kentucky Corn Facts
Corn continues to be a top Kentucky crop in terms of acres and cash receipts.
Corn production in Kentucky for 2018 was reported at 215 million bushels. Average yield was estimated at 175 bushels per acre (record high). Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 1.23 million acres.
Corn production for 2019 is forecast at 266 million bushels as of September 1. If realized this will be the largest crop ever produced in the commonwealth. Average yield is forecast at 177 bushels per acre. Acres for harvest were estimated at 1.50 million acres, up 270,000 from 2018.
Between 40 and 50% of the Kentucky corn crop is fed to livestock. Poultry in Kentucky consume about 45 million bushels alone. Beef and dairy cattle and hogs are also important Kentucky corn consumers.
From the 12 million bushels of corn used annually to produce fuel ethanol, 107,000 tons of distiller's grains are produced, which is also fed to livestock and poultry.
Another 15-20 million bushels of corn is utilized by Kentucky's bourbon and spirits industry.
(Source: Kentucky Distillers Association)
Kentucky is also home to a thriving food processing industry, where corn is ground for grits, corn bread mixes, tortillas, and taco shells. No statistical data available.
About 37 million bushels were exported in 2017 (Source: US Grains Council). Any additional corn is stored or fed to on-farm livestock.
Kentucky’s family corn farmers are producing twice as much corn as they did in the early 1900’s—on two-third’s less land.
95% of Kentucky’s corn farms are family owned, and many of the remaining 5% are partnerships between family members.
For more information, visit https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Kentucky/index.php