Caldwell County grain farmers are contributing to an almost 10% jump in the Kentucky land planted in soybeans, one of the top crops in the county.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its Acreage report this week, showing the state’s soybean acres up 9% from last year, while corn acres remained unchanged.

“Increased soybean acreage was driven by an economic factor, and a management practice”, said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “This spring the market prices were favoring soybeans over corn, and may have enticed growers to plant more soybeans. Additionally, farmers typically will rotate fields between corn and soybeans, and last year there was more corn, than soybeans.”

Soybeans planted in Kentucky were estimated at 1.85 million acres, up 150,000 acres from 2019. U.S. soybean planted area for 2020 was estimated at 83.8 million acres, up 10% from last year.

Last year, 35,500 acres in Caldwell County were planted in beans.

Acreage planted to corn in Kentucky was estimated at 1.55 million acres, unchanged from 2019. The U.S. corn planted for all purposes in 2020 was estimated at 92.0 million acres, up 3% from last year.

In 2019, local farmers planted 36,000 acres in corn.

Winter wheat seeded acreage in Kentucky was estimated at 530,000 acres, 70,000 acres above the previous year. The U.S. winter wheat planted area was estimated at 30.6 million acres, down 2% from 2019.

With 15,500 acres planted in wheat in 2019, Caldwell County ranked seventh in the state in acreage to the grain.

Alfalfa hay acreage in Kentucky was estimated at 140,000 acres, down 5,000 from the 2019 crop. All other hay was estimated at 1.80 million acres, unchanged from a year ago.