Strong cash receipts will likely propel Kentucky’s agricultural sector, including equine, forward again in 2011, according to Kenny Burdine, extension specialist in the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Department of Agricultural Economics. Burdine made this prediction as he analyzed 2010 cash receipt estimates for Kentucky, released recently by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Figures for 2010 showed that poultry again supplanted the Bluegrass state’s trademark equine industry to notch the No. 1 spot in total farm receipts, at 21% of the $4.4 billion total. The university’s Agricultural Economics extension economists, including Burdine, estimated in December that 2010 overall farm receipts would reach $4.5 billion. Their estimates for 2011, if reached, would be a milestone for Kentucky: a projected $5.1 billion.

“Equine led the state’s cash receipts for five or six years, reaching a high in 2007 at just over $1.1 billion,” Burdine said. “Since then, however, equine receipts have pulled back by roughly 38%.”

The 2008 recession hurt the major sales and affected stud fees, both of which weighed heavily on the market and contributed to the equine industry’s weakness, according to Burdine. He predicts 2011 will be a relatively strong year for Kentucky’s equine sector, indicating it could reach $725 to $750 million, compared with $700 million in 2010 and $780 million in 2009, though he cautions it could fall to third or fourth in Kentucky’s farm receipts by percentage