January 2: Paying the Bills with Soybeans in 2018

Full disclosure: I’m a former graduate of Purdue University so I can be a little biased towards their outlooks.

Here’s the latest on soybeans out of West Lafayette.

When it comes to the Big Ten, every farmer has a bias toward their preferred agricultural college. So, I always end up talking about agricultural economists from Purdue University because it’s home (just don’t tell my professors from Northwestern or Indiana). Here’s the latest on soybeans out of West Lafayette.

Chris Hurt at Purdue says that they will be the best bet for farmers deciding between that and corn.

As he expects corn to fall to 16 year lows, he’s saying that soybeans will offer the best opportunity to breakeven and even show a profit.

“The secret to 2018 is that corn prices will be ugly, but soybeans will pay the bills,” he said.

Hurt makes the argument that farmers should plant more of them this year.

While it’s important that enough corn is planted to meet demand, he argues that soybeans are going to keep the lights on around the country.


What’s ahead in 2018: Soybeans will pay the bills

INDIANAPOLIS — As 2017 wraps up, farmers are looking toward 2018 and what the markets will hold in the coming year.

Chris Hurt, a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University, predicted corn prices will be the lowest they have been in 16 years during a talk presented by Hoosier Ag Today at the Indiana-Illinois Farm and Outdoor Power Equipment Show.

“Corn yields are at record high. The average yield for the 2017 corn crop is an average of 180 bushels per acre,” he said.

Despite less-than-desirable conditions throughout the year, Hurt said the corn yield in Indiana will be good.

USDA estimates the average price for a bushel of corn will be $3.20, he said.

The Other Side

While corn prices take a nose dive, however, prices for soybeans are on the rise.

He noted that July 2018 futures put soybean prices at $10.40 per bushel.

“The secret to 2018 is that corn prices will be ugly, but soybeans will pay the bills,” the Purdue economist said.

Hurt said it still is important for producers to plant corn so there is an adequate supply to meet the demand for it, but farmers should plant more soybeans if they have that option.

“Corn prices have never been lower, while soybeans prices have never been higher,” Hurt said.

H/T: Agrinews
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.