After setting back-to-back records for soybean plantings, U.S. farmers indicated in a survey that they will plant more wheat and corn while cutting back on soybeans in 2018, said Farm Futures. Soybeans nearly matched corn, the most widely grown crop in the nation, in acreage this year with farmers believing the oilseed would be more profitable than corn.
Traders believe U.S. farmers are stampeding into soybeans this year and are looking for confirmation at USDA's two-day Agricultural Outlook Forum, which opens this morning with speeches by President Trump's nominee for U.S. ambassador to China and the House Agriculture chairman, Michael Conaway of Texas. This is the first time since 1995 that the secretary of agriculture will not speak at the forum.
U.S. soybean plantings will be record-large for the second year in a row in 2017 if growers follow through on their stated plans, said Farm Futures magazine. In an email survey, farmers said they intend to plant more soybeans, cotton and sorghum next year while cutting back on corn and wheat.
Farm-gate prices for corn, soybeans and wheat, the three most widely planted crops in the country, "have declined sharply from record levels set in recent years and no quick price recovery is expected," says the University of Missouri think tank FAPRI in an update of its agricultural baseline.
Corn and soybean growers will harvest smaller crops than projected by the government, according to a private survey of 1,300 growers, but that will mean little relief for depressed market prices.
Camelina, an oilseed that is little-known in the Midwest, could be a profit-turning partner with soybeans in the upper Midwest, says a study highlighted by the American Society of Agronomy.
Some 44 percent of farmers worry about paying back their debts, up sharply from 28 percent in 2012 when grain prices were at record highs, says Farm Futures, based on its survey of 1,300 farms.
U.S. growers intend to plant a record amount of land with soybeans this spring, and to boost the acres of sorghum, now in high demand for export to China, according to Farm Futures magazine's survey of 1,297 growers in 41 states during the first half of March. Its estimates of 87.25 million acres of soybeans and 8.4 million acres of sorghum are higher from forecasts by Kansas State University and the think tank FAPRI.
Oil prices are likely to stay low throughout this year, says Rabobank, and should eventually benefit consumers through lower food prices, according to Farm Futures.
Brazil, No 2 to the United States as a soybean producer, will reap a record 95.5 million tonnes of the oilseed, forecasts USDA - 10 percent than its previous crop.