How many bushels of soybeans are American farmers likely to produce this year? The answer is hard to predict, given that planted acreage remains a big unknown.
“We pretty well know where we are going to be with corn,” said Steve Nicholson of Rabobank, speaking on U.S. Farm Report Saturday. “The question is going to become how many more soybean acres do we get put in now….You could get another 200,000 or 300,000 acres of beans in there before all is said and done. But we’re getting pretty close to the end at this point, because it’s late in the season, and crop insurance is going to dictate what farmers do.”
According to USDA’s June 30 Acreage report, farmers are projected to plant 88.9 million acres of corn and 85.1 million acres of soybeans this year. But heavy rains have delayed soybean planting in many states, leaving farmers and traders wondering just how many of those 85.1 million acres may be underwater, unplanted, or destined for prevent plant.
So is the USDA, which announced plans on June 30 that it would resurvey farmers in four states about planted acres for a handful of crops. On the list: Texas (cotton), Kansas (sorghum and soybeans), Missouri (soybeans) and Arkansas (soybeans).
“The market is waiting for this resurvey, which we should get on August 12,” said Mark Gold of Top Third Ag Marketing, also speaking on U.S. Farm Report. “Everybody thinks these numbers are going to come down.”
Listen to the U.S. Farm Report discussion:
Will production drop as well? As the markets prepare for the July World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates on Friday, traders are wondering if USDA might begin adjusting its yield forecasts.
Gold said it really all depends on weather. “If we can put some warmth on this crop and have a few scattered rains in July, we’re still capable of producing a huge corn crop in this country. The beans—we know from last year—can push yields where it’s good,” he said. “Are we going to see last year’s yields? Probably not. But we’ve got an awful lot of acres—a record number of acres—going in. If we have good weather in August, I think that’s going to be the overriding factor certainly over the next six weeks.”
Brian Basting of Advance Trading agreed. “We still have time for the soybean crop to recover,” he said during the U.S. Farm Report roundtable. “I just hope that we can see this crop (and) the rain would let up at some point.”
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