The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the July Crop Production recently, showing some disappointing news for growers in Caldwell County, the state’s sixth largest producer of the grain. The yield forecast for Kentucky wheat was down 17% from last year.

“This is the lowest yield since 2012,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Growers knew the spring frosts had limited yield potential, but harvest revealed that it was worse than expected.”

Kentucky farmers expect to harvest 23.6 million bushels of wheat during 2020. The expected crop for 2020 would be down 6% from the previous year. The forecast was based on crop conditions as of July 1. Growers expect a yield of 63 bushels per acre, down 13 bushels from 2019. Farmers seeded 530,000 acres last fall with 375,000 acres to be harvested for grain.

Winter wheat production for the nation was forecast at 1.22 billion bushels, down 4% from the June 1 forecast and down 7% from 2019. Based on July 1 conditions, the United States yield is forecast at 52 bushels per acre, down 1.6 bushels from last year. The expected area to be harvested for grain or seed totals 23.4 million acres, down 4% from last year.