Kentucky’s Principal Agricultural Commodities

By Brittany Stovall,

1. Broilers

Poultry, including broilers (chicken 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.

2. 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 January 1, 2016, and earned cash receipts of more than $927 million in 2015.

3. Chicken Eggs

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.

4. Corn

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.


5. Dairy Products and Milk

More than 61,000 dairy cows produced milk in the Bluegrass State in 2015. Fairy farmers took in cash receipts of more than $200 million from more than 1 billion pounds of milk.

6. Hay

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.


7. 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.

8. Soybeans

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.


9. Tobacco

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.

10. Wheat

In 2015, farmers harvested 32.1 million bushels of winter wheat for a $171.8 million production value.

KyAgJennifer Elwell