Today’s Topic: NC farmers say they will plant more soybeans, less corn this year

By on April 8, 2014

Southern Farm Network logoAgriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

North Carolina farmers indicate they will plant more acres of soybeans and fewer acres of corn this year, according to the USDA Prospective Plantings report.

If the forecast holds, farmers will plant 1.6 million acres of soybeans this year, 10 percent more than they planted in 2013.

The following crops also are projected to have increased acreage this year:

  • Cotton, 470,000 acres, a 1 percent increase;
  • Peanuts, 83,000 acres, up 1 percent;
  • Sweet potatoes, 61,000 acres, a 6 percent increase;
  • Tobacco, 183,800 acres, up about 2 percent.

If acreage of some crops is going up, then other crops will be going down. Corn plantings are projected to total 850,000 acres, a decrease of 9 percent from last year. Winter wheat is already in the ground, and those plantings are down 16 percent from last year.

A number of factors influence a farmer’s planting decisions, including input costs, world supply and demand for the crop and, of course, the price he can get for that crop. Take corn and soybeans, for example. Last year, the average price for corn in March was $7.72 a bushel. This year in March, the average was $5.21 a bushel. That’s a pretty significant difference.

There has been a little more stability in soybean prices, comparing 2013 with 2014. Last year’s March average was $14.43 a bushel, and this year it was $14.23.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss planting intentions and what can change them.

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