(Edited release from Kentucky agriculture commissioner's office)
Cash receipts from sales of horses and stud fees in Kentucky again made equines the top agriculture product in 2008, according to state agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer.
Horse sales and stud fees totaled $1.08 billion, down 4% from 2007, as Kentucky farmers reported a record $4.84 billion in farm gate cash receipts in 2008.
"Our producers keep raising the bar year after year," Farmer said. "They had some difficulties to overcome last year – a very dry summer and declining commodity prices the second half of the year. Yet Kentucky’s farmers rose to the occasion and set another record while exceeding $4 billion for the fourth time in the past five years. I congratulate them on a job well done."
Farmer expressed confidence that Kentucky’s producers will have another banner year in 2009.
"Our farmers are tough and resilient," Commissioner Farmer said. "I know they can persevere through anything, and I challenge them to put their shoulders to the wheel and make 20009 even better than 2008."
The 2008 farm gate cash receipts numbers were announced Aug. 27 by the Kentucky office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The $4.84 billion total surpassed the previous record of $4.52 billion set in 2007.
Poultry followed horses at $917.5 million, a 5% increase. Cash receipts from corn totaled $653 million, up 30% from the previous year. Cattle and calves were down 5% at $574.4 million. Winter wheat, peaches and barley rebounded sharply in 2008 from the freeze-damaged 2007 crop.