Soybean plantings seen at record high despite ample stocks

U.S. farmers plan to seed a record amount of soybean acreage this spring, even with supplies trending near all-time highs, the government said on Friday.

Growers will dial back their corn seedings this spring despite signs of firm demand as record stocks have cast a bearish tone over the futures and cash markets this year, threatening profitability for farmers.

That’s significant news for growers in Missouri, where the annual value of soybean production averaged about $2.48 billion between 2010 and 2014, according to the University of Missouri Extension. The state ranked No. 8 nationally in soybean production in 2015.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said in its prospective plantings report that U.S. soybean plantings were expected at 89.482 million acres. If realized, that would top last year’s soybean acreage of 83.433 million, which is the biggest to date.

Analysts had expected the report to forecast soybean seedings of 88.214 million acres and corn seedings of 90.969 million, based on an average of estimates in a Reuters poll.

On the supply front, USDA said that domestic soybean stocks as of March 1 stood at 1.735 billion bushels, the second biggest on record and the biggest March 1 reading since 1.787 billion bushels in 2007. A year ago, soybean stocks were 1.531 billion bushels.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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