Kentucky Farms Bring in $1.8 Billion In 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky farmers saw more income in 2019, but with a catch: A lot of that money came from the government.

Farm economists from the University of Kentucky spoke during the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention in Louisville Thursday.

They estimate farm income in Kentucky this year was more than $1.8 billion, up slightly from 2018, but that’s mostly money the Trump Administration gave farmers to support them during the trade war.

Economist Will Snell said negotiations with China, Canada and Mexico make it tough to predict what will happen next year.

“We’ve been under this very uncertain trade environment the past couple of years, and its kind of amazing how much the markets can move with just a single tweet,” Snell said. “USMCA (pending trade deal with the U.S., Canada and Mexico), as a whole, will not necessarily cause a dramatic expansion in our exports or cause our markets to move, but it’s very, very important and critical that the USMCA is passed. The big, big wild-card is China.”

Nationally, the Market Facilitation Program and crop insurance accounted for nearly a third of farmer incomes.