May 30, 2019

2019 U.S. Soybean Acreage and Yields Uncertain at this Time

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Planting progress for the 2019 U.S. soybean crop has also been very slow with 29% of the soybeans planted compared to 74% last year and 66% for the 5-year average. These planting delays could have significant implications concerning the 2019 U.S. soybean production.

Planted soybean acreage - The eventual 2019 U.S. soybean planted acreage is still very uncertain. Farmers are receiving conflicting signals on what to plant due to the weather, prices, insurance programs, and government programs.

Prevent plant soybean acreage - The prevent plant date for soybeans is June 10th in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. The prevent plant date for soybeans is June 15th in Iowa and the northern third of Illinois and the prevent plant date is June 20th for 2/3 of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and most of Missouri.

At this point, I don't think we can say anything definitive about the potential amount of prevent plant soybean acreage other than if the weather during early June continues to be excessively wet, some farmers might opt for prevent plant.

Replant soybean acreage - Small soybean plants are very susceptible to saturated conditions , so given the heavy rains and the potential for ponding and standing water, I think it is safe to say that there will be some soybeans that will need to be replanted. We also have to monitor the situation in the Southeastern U.S. where hot and dry conditions could result in the need for replanting. How much replanting will be needed is impossible to say at this time.

Harvested soybean acreage - Normally, about 99% of the soybeans planted in the U.S. are harvested, but that may be optimistic this year. It is too early to say anything definitive about the amount of soybeans that may be abandoned, but there is certainly a possibility it will be greater than normal.

Potential soybean yield - On average, there is a definite yield drag for soybeans that are planted later than normal. In Illinois for example, the yield drag is 7% for soybeans planted on May 15th, 12% for soybeans planted on May 30th, and 18% for soybeans planted on June 10th.

Having said that, you always have to add the caveat that the weather later in the summer will be the determining fact for soybean yields. Usually we say the most important time for soybeans are the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August, but since the crop is being planted later than normal this year, let's move that to the last week of July and the first three weeks of August.

I am currently estimating the 2019 U.S. soybean yield at 45 bu/ac and I do not think there is much of an upside potential for the soybean yield and that there is a greater downside risk to the soybean yield given a significant delay in planting.