Purdue Agricultural Economist Chris Hurt stated on May 11 that farmers who have delayed in planting corn could potentially make up for any losses by planting soybeans instead.
Soybean prices surged on May 10 after a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed a reduction in global soybean inventories.
"Delayed planting this spring may actually turn out to be a financial blessing if farmers end up planting more soybean acres," said Hurt. "Soybean prices have been rising rapidly this spring while corn prices have increased much more slowly."
Specifically, soybean farmers could earn $116 more per acre than corn producers this year. Hurt says that this would be one of the highest incentives for farmers to switch from one crop to another that he’s ever seen.
Since January, soybean prices have been increasing as a result of a weaker U.S. dollar. High demand has also been coming from China, the largest export market for U.S. beans.
"This shift will have a tendency to bring high soybean prices and low corn prices back into better alignment," Hurt continued. "Ultimately, farmers in states like Indiana, Michigan and Ohio that have fallen behind on corn planting may benefit financially if they shift some of that acreage to soybeans."
The growing potential for more profit stemming from soybeans hit a high note last month, due to heavy rains in Argentina that delayed the harvest. The country is the third-largest producer of soybeans in the world.