Kentucky's farm industry yielded good numbers this year, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, low commodity prices and global trade fights.
Statewide farm cash receipts this year are projected to exceed $6.7 billion, which would eclipse the $6.5 billion record set in 2014; the past five-year average has been $5.5 billion.
Kentucky’s net farm income — the amount left after farmers’ expenses — is expected to approach $2.5 billion in 2021, which would be the highest level since 2013.
UK Agriculture Economist Will Snell said the nationwide farm economy has grown in the way the state's farm economy has thrived.
Strong crop yields, surging grain exports, lower production costs and favorable weather worked together for near-perfect conditions for production.
In Kentucky, corn, soybeans and poultry were the state's top agricultural commodities, accounting for 18% of all projected sales. Equine industry comes in at 16% and cattle at 11%.
While we can revel in the farmers' success now, things might not remain on the upswing in coming months. Production costs are expected to rise on the farm.
“Farm input costs will likely be up double-digit percentages in 2022, with much higher fuel, fertilizer and feed prices,” Snell said. “Labor costs and supplies continue to be a concern, not only among farmers but throughout the entire food supply chain and the rest of economy.”
Snell's predictions sound as though not only farmers but consumers, too, are in for it in 2022. We hope that turns out to be false. We hope farmers continue to thrive and consumers can afford to buy groceries.