Business

What's next for Iowa farmers? More corn, fewer soybeans

Soybeans blow in the wind along Wright Brothers Boulevard SW in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Soybeans blow in the wind along Wright Brothers Boulevard SW in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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Farmers aim to plant almost two percent more corn next year — some 90.8 million acres — according to a survey of farmers’ intentions released on Tuesday, opening day of the Farm Progress Show in Boone.

The numbers suggest farmers are concerned about China’s 25 percent tariff on imports of soybeans. They plan to plant 2.3 percent fewer soybeans in 2019 — 87.5 million acres, compared with 89.6 million that was planted this past spring.

That land likely will be turned to corn — an increase of 1.7 million acres, or 1.9 percent — compared to 2018’s plantings.

“Obviously it’s still very early in the process for fixing acreage, so a lot could change,” said Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures senior market analyst. “But the initial readings from our August surveys historically held up well through the fall and winter.”

Farm Futures, an information website for large-scale agriculture producers, surveyed 924 growers via an online questionnaire between July 20 to Aug. 2.

The average difference between Farm Futures August intentions and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings figures released the following March in recent years has been 1.5 percent for corn and 2.5 percent for soybeans.

The Farm Progress Show runs through Thursday.

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