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.


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