After five years of struggling with the challenges of falling net income and rising land, input, and seed costs, U.S. farmers have produced a record harvest of 3.6 billion bushels of soybeans this year.
What would have been good news is bittersweet this season, as the trade tensions between the U.S. and China continue, resulting in soybeans shipments to the top U.S. buyer being cut by 94 percent. And although U.S. soybean organizations have cultivated historically smaller markets such as the EU, Mexico, Egypt, Iran, and Argentina, these successes are not making up for the loss of China.
With a potential surplus of one billion bushels of soybeans on their hands, U.S. farmers are scrambling to secure proper storage for their crops, resorting to plastic-covered bunkers or on the ground in plastic bags up to 300 feet long.
Payments to soybean farmers from the $12 billion compensation fund created by the Trump administration amount to approximately .82 cents per bushel, however, even with this, soybeans are selling below cost of production, and the holdover could affect prices next season as well.
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org.