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Soybean switch in U.S. expands world surplus

Author: Kristy

Farmers increasingly turn to soybeans as alternative to corn

Farmers in the U.S., the world’s second-largest soybean grower, will boost planting by 5 percent to a record 80.391 million acres, a Bloomberg survey of 22 analysts showed. (Ty Wright, Bloomberg)

Jeff Wilson, Bloomsberg | Feb. 12, 2014

Corn is no longer king on Todd Wachtel’s 5,500-acre farm in Illinois.

After prices fell to a three-year low in January, he will cut planting by 20 percent in 2014 and devote half his land to soybeans, which are cheaper to grow and just as profitable for the first time in four years.

Across the Corn Belt, growing the biggest U.S. crop had been an easy choice for farmers since 2009. Annual revenue was $150 per acre more than soybeans on average for Wachtel, who sowed 3,450 acres of corn in 2013, or 63 percent of his land.

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