LOUISVILLE (AP) - Kentucky tobacco sales fell for the fifth straight year last year, dropping to fourth place as a cash crop. Leading the way were horses, cattle and broiler chickens.
Tobacco brought farmers nearly $1 billion as recently as 1999 and ranked second in sales in 2002, but severe cuts in quota have limited how much leaf farmers can produce.
Sales from tobacco totaled $431 million last year, according to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That is 12 percent of Kentucky's farm receipts. Horse sales and stud fees brought in $800 million.
"It's holding its own, but obviously as we need Kentucky agriculture to reduce its dependency on tobacco, it's good to see other commodities pick up," said Will Snell, a University of Kentucky tobacco economist.