Crop Consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier expects soybeans to “win the tussle for acreage” in 2018. Therefore, his early projection is for U.S. growers to plant 91 million to 92 million acres to soybeans, with corn plantings falling between 88 million and 89 million acres. This is in line with most market watchers’ projections.
He explains, “For the time being, it appears that soybeans have the price advantage over corn and I think soybeans could have better prospects for improved prices going forward. So price alone should give the advantage to soybeans, but there are other factors as well.”
Those other factors include the likelihood corn will lose some acres to cotton in the Delta and mid-South. Corn could also lose some acres to spring wheat in the northwest Corn Belt. In addition, soybeans could pick up some acres if farmers tear up some drought-battered HRW wheat on the Plains.
And besides more typical drivers of acreage shifts, Cordonnier also says that plantings could be influenced by the possibility of a trade war, noting that retaliatory tariffs on U.S. ag products could lead to some big price swings.
To start the season, Cordonnier is projecting a corn yield of 176 bu. per acre and a soybean yield of 50 bu. per acre.