December 4, 2000 | By: Haven Miller

Farm cash receipts for Kentucky will be more than $ 4 billion for 2000, a near-record high. Total receipts for 2001 likely will be higher.

"We should see record gross cash receipts for next year," said Larry Jones, Extension agricultural economist for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. "The livestock side will continue to show an increase, while tobacco will see relatively little change. There likely will be increases in horticulture, oil seed, and timber. When you add it all up, the figures come in about four and a quarter billion dollars, or five percent higher than we'll see for 2000."

Jones said the state's agriculture industry began 2000 with a great deal of trepidation, but as the year progressed the situation improved.

"We had just come off one of the worst droughts on record in 1999, and then early in the year were hit with a large quota cut in tobacco. But as the year unfolded and we began to see good growing conditions around the state, we gained a great deal of optimism," Jones said.

While this year's figure for gross farm receipts is impressive, Jones said a more important figure is net farm income. He said that amount was healthy in 2000 mainly due to government support.

"It's important for us realize that, for 2000, government payments and tobacco payments from companies will account for more than half of Kentucky's net farm income," Jones said. "That means that without those massive amounts of government support, 2000 would have been a pretty rugged year."

Jones said the key question for the future is what will be the level of government support.

"We've got to ask ourselves how long these payments will be with us," Jones said. "Of course, some of these programs, such as tobacco payments, are already with us again for 2001, so that's anticipated. But if we look ahead for two or three years, we've got to ask ourselves how much government assistance will be there for us."


Larry Jones, 859-257-7289