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Kentucky farm sector may reap record receipts: Economists

The University of Kentucky ag economists said Thursday that the upturn is fueled by strong crop yields and surging grain exports.

KENTUCKY, USA — University economists say Kentucky agriculture appears poised to reap record-setting cash receipts this year.

The University of Kentucky (UK) ag economists said Thursday that the upturn is fueled by strong crop yields and surging grain exports. They say Kentucky's horse industry had a strong performance. 

And livestock producers benefited from high global demand for meats.

Dr. William Snell, an economist with UK, said what's also good about a big projection is the trickle-down effect to local economies.

"The ag industry has a lot of linkages --from the labor market to local banks to ag businesses," said Snell. "It has a big impact certainly in rural communities -- but you know here in Louisville, even with the banks. The big ag businesses and equipment dealerships. So it's a pretty widespread impact," Snell said.

Economists also said the horse industry had a strong performance this year.

 Agriculture endured some bumpy seasons of global trade fights and slumping commodity prices. 

But this year, the economists say Kentucky farm cash receipts are projected to exceed $6.7 billion. 

That would eclipse the $6.5 billion record in 2014. The past five-year average has been $5.5 billion.

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