In last week’s Planting Intentions report, the USDA said U.S. farmers would plant 5.6 million more acres of corn in 2016. This has pushed corn prices lower and may be giving growers a reason to think twice about making the switch to soybeans. That is the topic of HAT’s newest Better Farming Report, sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Checkoff and the Indiana Soybean Alliance.
In the newest, Better Farming video report, Dr. Jim Mintert and Dr. Shawn Casteel make the case that planting soybeans may be a better and lower cost option for growers in 2016. Mintert says soybean costs have come down from what they were in 2015. “From 2002 to 2004, we had production costs under $2 a bushel. In 2015, that approached $4 a bushel, but we have seen costs come down for 2016, due mainly to some reductions in fertilizer costs.” Mintert said, on average, 2016 variable production costs for soybeans should be around $3.50, “So anything we can do to increase yield will drop that figure significantly.”
Dr. Casteel says growers need to think about the benefits of soybeans, “In recent years, soybeans have been our rescue crop. In drought years and even in wet years like 2015, soybean yields have held up.” Some of the research that Dr. Casteel has done at Purdue shows there are changes we can make in producing soybeans that can improve yields and lower production costs. He discusses those in the video report, “By simply adjusting planting dates, growers can see an increase in soybean yields.”
Mintert says considering a switch to soybeans is just one of many things that can be done to help lower our cost of production, “There is not one thing, but a combination of many things that can help growers lessen the loss from the 2016 crop.”
Watch the Better Farming video report on our the HAT web site.