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Monday, August 25, 2014

A Corn Fed Kentucky State Fair

For the 16th year, KyCorn served up a sweet time under the Great Kentucky Cookout Tent with the other commodity groups at the Kentucky State Fair. The association was extremely thankful for the help that students from the Martha Layne Collins High School FFA Chapter and UK's 1/4-scale tractor pull team provided during the 11-day run. KyCorn also engaged fair goers in their #CornFedKY social media promotion to encourage "corny" posts and tweets.

KyCorn also supported Kentucky FFA and 4-H by contributing to the purchase of the Reserve Champion Hog in the Sale of Champions. The hog was exhibited by Gary Nelson Barger, of Meade County FFA, and sold for $11,000. Others contributing to the sale price were Ed and Pat Jenkins, Farm Credit Mid-America, Judah Real Estate Group, and Friends of the Sale. Funds are divided among the winning exhibitor (60%), other hog class winners (30%), and the Kentucky 4-H and FFA programs (10%).

Friday, August 15, 2014

Kentucky Corn Production Down, but Better than Expected

While we knew reproducing last year's record 243 million bushel crop was not likely this year, the August 12 USDA-NASS crop report provided us a better prediction than expected.

Corn production in Kentucky was forecast at 200 million bushels, down 18 percent from the previous crop. Yield was estimated at 138 bushels per acre, down 32 bushels from the 2013 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 1.45 million acres, up 20,000 acres from 2013.

Rain has been scarce in much of our largest corn growing areas, especially along the southern tier.
Following an informal poll of growers from across the state, we anticipated the average yield for 2014 to be about 130 bushels per acre.

U.S. corn production was forecast at 15.2 billion bushels. If realized, this will be the highest U.S. production on record. Based on conditions as of August 1, yields are expected to average 167.4 bushels per acre, up 8.6 bushels from 2013. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.8 million acres, unchanged from June but down 4 percent from 2013.

Across the nation, the corn crop is rated 73% good to excellent. In Kentucky, USDA-NASS reported only 59% rating good to excellent.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@kycornfed) for the latest crop updates provided by USDA-NASS, University of Kentucky agronomists and producers. You can also watch the Twitter feed on our website at

Friday, August 1, 2014

Week Provided Intense Education for CORE Farmer Program and UK Field Day Participants

Participants of the CORE Farmer Program spent a few days this week with the best of UK's extension researchers and instructors at Princeton. This was Session 4, marking the halfway point of the current program.

Most of the curriculum for this session was spent in the field with hands-on demonstrations. The topics selected by the 17 classmates for this seminar included fragipan remediation, drought stress, pushing populations, controlling Palmer pigweed, and utilizing litter.

UK Extension Soils Specialist Lloyd Murdock presenting to CORE participants.

Come December, the class will take a bus tour of Georgia agriculture. The 6-day trek will include a visit to Randy Dowdy's perennial National Corn Yield Contest winning farm, and in-depth view of the cotton industry, exports and a water resources conversation in the Apalachicola estuary. Two more seminars will follow in January and February 2015.

The process to enroll Class 4 of the CORE Farmer Program is planned to begin in March. To inquire about how to apply for this program, contact Adam Andrews at or 502-742-2036.

On Thursday, the University of Kentucky held their annual Corn, Soybean and Tobacco Field Day at the Princeton Research and Education Center.

Several sessions proved to be of particular interest to KyCorn. Chad Lee provided an update on UK's corn population and yield study, showcasing the planter purchased by KyCorn to aid the research. Field day participants were also provided a variety of water quality and nutrient management issues sessions such as updates on hypoxia and TMDLs, water quality plans, and farmer engagement. KyCorn's Adam Andrews presented with Brent Burchett (Ky Soybean Association), Amanda Gumbert (UK College of Ag Environmental and Natural Resource Issues) and the newest UK extension specialist Josh McGrath.

"This area of the program allowed KyCorn the opportunity to showcase our involvement and share with producers the need to continue their engagement in the issues of Waters of the U.S. and nutrient strategies," said KyCorn Executive Director Laura Knoth. "It was also a good reminder that all farms 10 acres or greater need an Ag Water Quality Plan and the protections they provide if a water quality problem occurs."

KyCorn appreciates the cooperation with industry experts and professionals to provide critical and quality educational programs for Kentucky's farmers.