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Report indicates a shift from corn to soybeans this year

6 months, 3 weeks ago Cedar Valley Business

USDA scheduled to release crop estimate on Monday

From Cedar Valley Business:

One of the longest, coldest winters in memory is fading away, as March shifts to April this week. The snow, finally, has largely disappeared. Farmers now turn their attention to planting.

What they put in the ground this year is a topic of much speculation in a recent report from Farm Futures magazine.

In a report published last week, the magazine estimated that soybean intentions for 2014 would hit a record 82.93 acres nationwide. If plantings match intentions, that could mean bean production would be up by 8.4 percent over last year’s rain-delayed crop.

The report also noted a shift from corn to soybeans, notably in Illinois, where farmers pushed corn-on-corn in recent seasons to capitalize on money to be made in the growing ethanol market.

Soybeans and corn are projected to bring lower returns this year than in the last couple of rounds, but soybeans stand to take somewhat of a lighter hit, the magazine reported. That, along with a recent spate of corn-on-corn crops, opens the possibility that farmers will rotate to beans in 2014.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, who grows corn and beans near Spirit Lake, said he wouldn’t be surprised to see some shifting of crops this year.

“It makes some sense when you look at the prices,” Northey said Wednesday when asked about the report. “There’s a lot of corn that’s produced in Iowa that rotates back and forth between those two crops. I think we’re unlikely to see many switch if it’s their corn year and they had beans last year.”

Corn planting intentions could fall to 92.06 million acres across the U.S., down 3.5 percent from a year ago, when a cold, rainy planting seasons left 3.5 million acres unplanted.

On the other hand, even the 92.06 million acres would be the fourth-largest acreage since 1944, the magazine noted.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to issue its crop estimate Monday.

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