Spring Planting Outlook: USDA economist thinks farmers will favor soybean acreage over corn in 2024

While soybeans are currently coming out stronger than corn in terms of price ratios, USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer recognizes a lot of factors could change farmer’s planting decisions between winter and spring.

As winter unfolds, producers across Rural America are already developing planting strategies for their crop choices in the upcoming year.

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Chief Economist Seth Meyer provided some of the department’s preliminary insights on spring planting, hinting at a potential battle for acreage during the impending season.

According to USDA data, corn growers expanded acreage by 6.3 million acres in 2023 to reach 94 million total acres, while soybeans saw a reduction in acreage to just under 4 million acres.

However, in the coming year, Meyer anticipates a reverse in this trend. He believes growers will shift to favor soybeans over corn, citing a strong soybean-to-corn price ratio.

He suggests a likely rebound in bean acres and a possible reduction in the exceptionally high level of corn acres. On the other hand, Meyer emphasizes the inherent unpredictability of factors that could influence planting decisions between the current period and the actual planting season.


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