A Surge for Soybean Acres?

March 16, 2010 08:13 AM
More soybeans could be planted across the U.S.; at least that's how it looks according to a recent www.FarmJournal.com poll.
Out of the more than 500 respondents, nearly half says they plan to plant more soybeans in 2010.
Here are the results:
How have your planting intentions for 2010 changed since harvest 2009?
Why the increase in soybean acres?
Chip Flory, Pro Farmer editor, says the move to more soybeans could be the result of a couple of issues:
1.      Anticipation of a "late” spring
2.      $9-plus November bean futures with Dec. corn futures under $4.00 (although "just” under $4.00)
Brian Grete, Pro Farmer senior market analyst, agrees. He says because of the late harvest, fall tillage was limited. "That means more tillage needs to be done this spring.”
Flory says another factor could be the strong and consistent demand for 2009-crop U.S. soybeans. "USDA's early look at the 2010-11 marketing year showed the potential for a ‘bulging' 2010-11 soybean carryover,” he says. "But if we'd go through another demand surge for 2010-crop soybeans like we saw for the 2009-crop beans, that carryover outlook would tighten throughout the 2010-11 marketing year.” That, he says, would likely provide some support for 2010-crop prices.
Grete says he's heard from producers that they don't want to handle more corn at harvest after the last three years. "In 2007, the crop was huge and put a strain on them,” he says. "In 2008, production decreased nearly 1 billion bu., but there were issues with drying the drop, which put a strain on them. And last year was a combination of both – huge crop and drying issues.”
Grete says these ongoing difficult issues make growing the less-intensive crop of soybeans look attractive.
Flory points out that there's no quantifier for the Farm Journal poll, meaning farmers could increase their soybean production by 10 acres or 100 acres. 
"Still, the results are significant!” he says. "That's a substantial move to soybeans.”
For More Information
What about you? What are your planting intentions? Share them in AgWeb's Crop Comments. E-mail CropComments@agweb.com.

You can e-mail Sara Schafer at sschafer@farmjournal.com.

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