Overview of Kentucky Agriculture, part 1

Recently, CEDIK released the updated Agriculture & Food County Data Profiles (click here to see) for 120 Kentucky counties. Using data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture released last year from the US Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA/NASS), these profiles offer an overview of the agricultural industry and food system at the county level, but not for the entire state. So in this blog post, we examine some of the data included in the Agriculture & Food County Profiles across all of Kentucky.

Kentucky Animal Sales by TypeWe started by examining the major categories of animal sales in Kentucky. While Kentucky is known as the Horse Capital of the World, horse sales along with breeding/stud fees only accounted for 19% of animal sales. Poultry and cattle were 40% and 37% of animal sales, respectively.

Next, we consideKentucky Crop Sales by Typered sales from crops and related products in 2012. When looking at the pie chart of crop sales, it is important to not that corn, soybean and wheat are often grown in rotation; together, they accounted for 72% of all crop sales. Tobacco also made a significant percentage of crop sales at 16%.

While these two pie charts provide a good overview of the types of sales for crops, animals and related products for Kentucky as a whole, they do not show how agricultural sales vary from county to county across the state of Kentucky. So we asked ourselves: in Kentucky, how do the counties vary by the volume of total sales? And do the counties vary based on the share of agricultural sales that come crop versus animal sales?

KY Counties by Volume and Source to Total Ag SalesThe map above shows Kentucky counties by the total volume of annual sales and the type/source of sales in 2012. The volume of annual sales for each county is represented by the size of the maroon circle located on it, with the smallest circles representing less than $25 million annual sales and the largest circles representing over $150 million in annual sales. The map shows that most agricultural sales are clustered around the Bluegrass (likely equine) and Western Kentucky (likely a mix of crops and poultry). On the other hand, most of Eastern Kentucky is comprised of small circles, indicating relatively fewer agricultural sales in 2012.

The type/source of sales for each county is represented by its color with green representing a majority share of crop sales, red representing a majority share of animal sales, and yellow falling somewhere in the middle. The map shows a high concentration of counties that rely heavily on sales from animals and animal products in Bluegrass (likely equine) and part of South-Central Kentucky area (likely cattle and poultry). Conversely, some counties in the Northern Kentucky and Western Kentucky bring in more in crops sales.

Interested in a particular county? Check out CEDIK’s Agriculture & Food County Data Profiles by clicking here.

Kentucky’s Retail Sector by Area Development District (ADD)

retail_sector_thumbnailCEDIK has released the fourth county profile in our data series.  This profile reports county level data on the retail sector of the county economy.  Our goal was to provide economic analysis of the retail sector, and to also provide explanation of the economic analyses used.  You can find all four of our county profiles on our website.

Data at the Area Development District (ADD) level was reported on each county profile as well.  However, the data for the 15 ADDs cannot be easily compared from the county data profiles themselves.  So we have provided some comparison of the retail sector across the ADDs in the tables and graphs below.

Let’s start by taking a look at the share of employment the retail sector provides for each ADD.  In the graph below, we see that as a whole, the retail sector in Kentucky provides 10.7% of all employment for the state.  The orange line across the chart shows us the statewide percentage.  There are only a few ADDs that have a higher share of their employment coming from the retail sector than the state average. Big Sandy ADD in particular stands out has having the largest share of employment coming from their retail sector of all the ADDs.


Now let’s take a closer look at the ADD retail sector pull factors.  To refresh everyone’s memory, a pull factor measures a county’s ability to attract shoppers in the retail sector. If the pull factor is less than 1, its own residents are shopping in other counties. If greater than 1, the county is pulling in retail shoppers from other counties.


As you can see, most ADDs are able to attract shoppers into their area to make retail purchases (ADDs with a Pull Factor >1).  There are four ADDs though that are not able to capture enough retail shopping to equal their average resident’s spending on retail purchases (ADDs with a Pull Factor <1).  This means that these four ADDs have residents meeting some of their retail needs outside of the ADD.

This points to an opportunity for economic development for these ADDs.  How might an ADD work to attract more shoppers into their retail establishments?

CEDIK can assist communities with developing a retail strategy that attracts more shoppers. Contact us if you are interested in learning how.

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