Kentucky Farm Cash Receipts Up in 2010, Horses Show Slight Improvement

After being hit with a commodity market crash in 2008 and a global recession in 2009, Kentucky's farm economy showed marked improvement in 2010. Agricultural economists with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture estimate Kentucky farm cash receipts to be $4.4 to $4.7 billion this year, up at least $100-300 million over 2009 and well above the 10-year average of $4 billion. Since the economy is slowly recovering and agricultural exports are thriving, 2011 cash receipts and net farm income should be significantly higher than last year.

"Larger volumes of grain exports at higher prices, as well as improved horticulture and meat exports, are behind the reversal," said Craig Infanger, PhD, extension professor in the UK Department of Agricultural Economics.

Kentucky Horse Farm

Kentucky's horse farms showed economic improvement during 2010 after the commodity market crash in 2008 and the global recession in 2009.

Equine receipts, which remain in the No. 2 position, showed slight improvement over 2009 levels. Sales have been steady for the most part, Kenny Burdine, extension specialist in UK's Agricultural Economics Department, reported. Stallion fees felt the pressure from a weak economy.

Infanger and fellow UK agricultural economists Burdine, Lee Meyer, PhD, Will Snell, PhD, and Cory Walters, PhD, along with Dewayne Ingram, PhD, from the UK Department of Horticulture and Kentucky Farm Business Management Program Coordinator Jerry Pierce, presented a 2011 outlook and an overview of Kentucky farm economy in 2010 as part of the annual Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation conference in Louisville.

In Kentucky poultry took the top spot, followed by equine then grain. According to Burdine, it is likely that horses will slip to No. 3 next year behind corn.

"Equine receipts came in at $780 million in 2009, which was a major decline from 2008 [more than $1 billion]," Burdine said. "Equine receipts are likely to be largely steady in 2010, but a moderate increase is projected for 2011. Also, receipts for show, competition, and pleasure horses have continued to be hurt by the sluggish U.S. economy and weak recreational demand.

"If weather is good--meaning yields are good, I would be surprised if corn did not take the No. 2 spot next year given where prices are. Equine will most likely be No. 3, unless things really pick up. I would expect equine receipts in the $825-850 million range, and corn is projected to be above that," Burdine said.

"For three out of the last four years, Kentucky livestock producers had to deal with drought conditions across much of the state," Burdine said. "So hay feeding began early in many areas. That means production costs will increase by the end of the year."

Carol Spence, Agricultural Communications specialist and editor, The Ag Magazine, and Kenny Burdine, PhD, extension specialist in UK's Agricultural Economics Department provided this content.


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