Kentucky's 2 Million Acres of Soybeans Suffer from Excessive Rain

Nov 19, 2018

A soybean and corn farm in Fulton Co., Ky.
Credit Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley ReSource

Kentucky soybean farmers are expected to harvest a slightly larger yield than last year, but less than initially predicted.

David Knopf is director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service in Kentucky. He said the initial forecast for Kentucky soybeans was a yield of 57 bushels per acre this year. The current estimated yield is 54 bushels per acre, slightly above last year’s yield of 53 bushels per acre.  

Kentucky farmers planted nearly two million acres of soybeans this year.  Knopf said about one-quarter of those beans have not yet been harvested. He said excessive rain over the past couple of months is one factor that’s reduced the quality and yield of this year’s crop.

“The beans are still sitting in the field and they’re subject to that moisture," said Knopf.  "The rains come frequently enough that they don’t dry out in-between, leading to problems with the quality of the beans. And there were some diseases or issues with the plant development, the plants didn’t develop the best quality beans.”

Statewide, soybean production for Kentucky is forecast to be about 107 million bushels this year.