The story continues to be record production for corn and soybeans, which has put pressure on prices, according to Iowa State University Extension crop market specialist Chad Hart. “We have set records with production the past two years. In 2014 the corn area planted was lower, but yields were much higher as compared to 2013,” said Hart.
In 2014, 90.9 million acres of corn were planted as compared to 95.4 million acres in 2013 and yields went from 158.8 bushels per acre in 2013, to 173.4 bushels per acre in 2014. This led to 14,407,000 bushels of corn produced in the United States as compared to 13,925,000 bushels in 2013.“Demand for corn is growing on the feed side, with more hogs and poultry being fed, but the number of cattle being fed has not grown yet. Ethanol demand is steady for corn, food demand is building and exports of corn are soft because there is a lot of corn available worldwide,” said Hart.
Soybeans seem to have a similar story. In 2014, a record number of acres of soybeans were planted—84.2 million acres. This is up from 76.8 million acres in 2013. Yields also increased, which has led to 3,958,000 bushels of soybeans produced in 2014, as compared to 3,358,000 bushels in 2013.
A strong demand for soybeans has helped prices, as soybean meal is used in livestock feed and soybean oil is used for food and biodiesel production. Exports have been the driving factor for the soybean market, as China continues to have high demand for U.S. soybeans.
Worldwide corn and soybean production continues to grow as well. Argentina and Brazil have been producing a lot of corn but are now moving toward producing more and more soybeans.“Argentina and Brazil produce more soybeans than the U.S. They are currently in planting season and appear to be producing even more this year,” said Hart. “China has decreased their soybean production and will continue to rely on the world market to feed their hogs.”
The growing livestock industry domestically is helping provide more demand for grains, and with lower prices, it’s helping with their profitability and growth.