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Where Are Beans?

November 27, 2013
By: Jeanne Bernick, Top Producer Editor

Acres down, yields higher

Production of U.S. soybeans in 2013 might be the third largest on record, according to estimates in USDA’s Crop Production report, released Nov. 8. The Department of Agriculture forecast soybean production at 3.26 billion bushels, which is up 3% from its September forecast and at least 7% higher than production in 2012.

Yields are expected to be 3.2 bu. higher than last year, forecast at 43 bu. per acre. Harvested acres for soybeans is forecast at 75.7 million acres—down 1% from both the previous forecast and last year.

In its World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate report, USDA explained that while the harvested area for soybeans was reduced, the higher yields and production forecast more than offset this reduction.

At the time this magazine went to print, the highest relative yields were in the southern parts of the country. Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia had record yields. From these highs, relative yields decrease as you move towards the western Corn Belt and upper Midwest. From North Dakota down to Nebraska, across to Iowa, up to Wisconsin and back to North Dakota, yields are projected to be relatively lower.

Shortly after the Nov. 8 USDA reports were released, the January soybean contract rose 29¢.

"There are 33.2 million tons of soybean sales on the books, compared with 26 million last year, and 21.1 million are to China, compared to 16 million last year," says Mike Krueger, president of the Money Farm, Fargo, N.D. "Demand for soybeans has not slowed down at all."

The estimated carry-out for soybeans of 170 million bushels was also raised from September’s 150 million bushels but was still 2 million bushels lower than the average trade guess. This year’s projected carry-out is still more than 20% smaller than USDA’s November estimates.

2013 AgWeb Soybean Harvest Map

Part of the fun of harvest is seeing and hearing how everyone else’s crop production fared. Now you can do this online and across the nation by visiting the AgWeb Soybean Harvest Map at Take a virtual tour across farm country and see how soybean yields shaped up. Submit your own harvest data. The harvest map is updated each weekday morning.

For more information, visit

soybean harvest map

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FEATURED IN: Top Producer - December 2013

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