From a booming broiler sector and iconic products such as bourbon to dedicated education and research, Kentucky agriculture is a big deal. The Bluegrass State boasts 76,500 farms across 13 million acres of land. These farms raise the state’s top commodities, including broilers for meat, which brought $866.6 million to the economy in 2012, along with corn, horses and mules, soybeans, and cattle and calves.
A historically important crop for Kentucky, the state ranks first in the nation in burley and fire-cured tobacco production. For overall tobacco production, Kentucky ranks No. 2 in the nation. In 2012, farmers harvested 87,200 total acres of tobacco, generating $404.3 million in production value. Beef is important as well. Kentucky is home to 1.1 million beef cows and takes the title as the largest producer of beef cattle east of the Mississippi River, and the eighth-largest in the nation.