U.S. soybean production and value expected to fall in the 2019/20 marketing year
Following planting delays in the spring of 2019 caused by excessive wetness, the USDA resurveyed crop acreage in August to determine how much was actually completed by the end of July. As a result, a new estimate of expected acreage was also made. The new data revised the estimate of planted soybean acreage downward for the 2019/20 marketing year (September–August) to 76.7 million. This reflects a 14-percent decline from last year and an 8-year low. The decreased acreage and expectations of lower yields translates to a projected 19-percent decline in production relative to 2018/19. Soybean prices are also expected to be lower in 2019/20, partially driven by continued trade tensions with China and the increased amounts of unused soybean stocks held in storage. Soybean prices are projected to average $8.40 per bushel in 2019/20, 10 cents below a year earlier and nearly a dollar below 2017/18 levels. Expectations of reduced production, coupled with lower prices, are likely to put pressure on soybean farmer revenues. If the projections are realized, the expected farm value of the U.S. soybean crop would fall to its lowest level in 11 years, from $38.6 billion in 2018/19 to $31 billion in 2019/20. This chart appears in the ERS Oil Crops Outlook report released in August 2019.