Poultry, including broilers (chickens raised for meat), are Kentucky’s leading ag commodity. In 2015, state farmers earned more than $960.1 million in production value with 307.7 million broilers.
Cattle and Calves
Kentucky is the leading cattle-producing state east of the Mississippi River. Kentucky’s more than 38,000 cattle producers had more than 2.17 million cattle and calves as of Jan. 1, 2016, and earned cash receipts of more than $927 million in 2015.
Kentucky’s poultry industry is the largest buyer of two other leading state commodities, soybeans and corn. Poultry farmers produced 1.28 billion eggs in 2015 with a $191.7 million production value.
At least 95 percent of Kentucky’s corn farms are family-owned. Kentucky farmers harvested 225 million bushels in 2015, worth $856.2 million in production value.
Dairy Products and Milk
More than 61,000 dairy cows produced milk in the Bluegrass State in 2015. Dairy farmers took in cash receipts of more than $200 million from more than 1 billion pounds of milk.
Kentucky ranks No. 9 in the nation for hay production. Kentucky farmers produced nearly 5.7 million tons of hay valued at $680.4 million in 2015.
Horses and Mules
The Bluegrass State is No. 1 in the nation for horses, ponies, mules burros and donkeys. There are over 242,400 horses in Kentucky. The total value of all Kentucky equine and equine-related assets in 2012 was $23.4 billion.
Henderson County is the top-producing county in Kentucky for soybeans with 4.8 million bushels in 2015. Statewide, soybean farmers harvested 88.7 million bushels for an $815.9 million production value.
Kentucky leads the nation in burley tobacco production and is second in overall tobacco production. In 2015, tobacco farmers in the state harvested 149.8 million pounds for a production value of nearly $313.3 million.
In 2015, farmers harvested 32.1 million bushels of winter wheat for a $171.8 million production value.