Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer is applauding Kentucky’s farmers for achieving a record $4.84 billion in farm gate cash receipts in 2008.

“Our producers keep raising the bar year after year,” Commissioner 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.”

Commissioner 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 2009 even better than 2008.”

The 2008 farm gate cash receipts numbers were announced 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.

Cash receipts from sales of horses and stud fees again led the way at $1.08 billion, down 4 percent from 2007. Poultry followed at $917.5 million, a 5 percent increase. Cash receipts from corn totaled $653 million, up 30 percent from the previous year. Cattle and calves were down 5 percent at $574.4 million.

Winter wheat, peaches and barley rebounded sharply in 2008 from the freeze-damaged 2007 crop.