Views on commodities and energy
No more ‘beans in the teens’? U.S. farmers plan more soy, less corn
American farmers are chilling on planting corn, or at least Monday’s USDA data points to a backlash against the overplanting of corn in 2007. So does this mean the ethanol promise is beginning to fade?
Soybean futures dropped their exchange-set maximum at the Chicago Board of Trade on Monday after the Department of Agriculture released its widely anticipated report on prospective plantings by U.S. farmers.
Corn and soybeans are planted in the same areas of the Midwest and Upper Midwest and farmers systematically rotate between the two crops. Corn is planted first but requires more fertilizer and energy intensive field work. Now soybeans appear to be the flavor of the year.
Farmers want to plant almost 75 million acres of soybeans, used in mainly animal feed, cooking oil and the renewable fuel biodiesel, up from 64 million last year. They are shifting land out of corn. After blanketing the Midwest with 94 million acres of corn in 2007 — the most since 1944 — 2008 will see a slightly-less-smothering 86 million acres. The plans should lift corn prices, a CME panel predicted.