Soybeans Could Dethrone Corn as U.S. Top Crop in 2018
USAgNet - 02/22/2018
For the first time in 35 years, soybeans are poised to steal the crown of U.S. crop king from corn. American farmers are set to increase their soy plantings to a record 90.69 million acres, according to the average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 21 trading
firms and analysts. Corn sowings are forecast to drop to 90.12 million. The last time soy surpassed corn was 1983, when government payments were based on idling acres.
Bloomberg reports that about 16 percent of the corn belt is already experiencing drought conditions, with more dry weather forecast into the start of the growing season. Soybeans, wheat and cotton are all more drought-tolerant than corn.
Prices are also still favoring soybeans, with futures for this year's crop trading about 2.5 times higher than corn contracts. This is the fifth straight year that the oilseed is offering better returns.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release its first planting estimates for the season at its annual outlook conference that begins Thursday.