Kentucky's Tobacco Industry

Kentucky ranks 1st in burley, fire-cured, and dark-cured tobacco production, and 2nd in total tobacco production in the nation. Tobacco is one of Kentucky's top 5 agriculture exports. In 2017, Kentucky burley tobacco production was estimated at 129.2 million pounds, yield was estimated at 2,050 pounds per acre, and harvested acreage was estimated at 63,000 acres. Production of Kentucky dark fire-cured tobacco is estimated at 38 million pounds and dark air-cured tobacco production is estimated at 16.2 million pounds.

Top burley tobacco counties in Kentucky in 2017:

  1. Breckinridge

  2. Green

  3. Shelby

  4. Harrison

  5. Christian

Source: National Agriculture Statistics Service and Economic Research Commission



What looks like an ordinary greenhouse is actually an around-the-clock Ebola vaccine factory. At a facility in Kentucky, plants are being injected with a protein in order to spur them into producing one of the three antibodies used in the experimental drug ZMapp.

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