Planting More Corn or Beans?

More Missouri farmers are switching acres to soybeans.

Published on: Feb 18, 2014

It has been a while since Missouri farmers grappled with how many acres to designate to corn. But as they watched their golden commodity drop in price, some growers are reconsidering their planting decisions.

"Some guys are switching to more beans and less corn because of the current price of corn," says George Quinn, a row crop farmer and Pioneer dealer from Chillicothe. "For my customers the switch is driven pretty much by price, but in the next couple of months that could change. We will just have to see how we end up."

In northwestern Missouri, farmers are looking at switching ground because of not only the lower price for corn, but also the continual high cost of inputs.

RISE OF THE BEAN: With the lower price of corn and continuing higher input costs, for the first time in recent years, planting decisions are changing on the farm.
RISE OF THE BEAN: With the lower price of corn and continuing higher input costs, for the first time in recent years, planting decisions are changing on the farm.

"My seed customers right now are focused on input cost," says Gary Hughes, a farmer and Pioneer dealer from Rosendale. While Hughes says not many farmers in his area are changing planting decisions, those that are, are doing it because of the cost of inputs. "Soybeans just have lower input costs than corn."

According to the latest Farm Futures survey, producers are ready to slash corn plantings to 92.3 million acres, down 3.7% from the total USDA estimates in November 2013. And the ground coming out of corn production is likely to end up in soybeans. The survey found that farmers want to plant 82.34 million acres of beans in 2014, up 7.6 million acres over 2013. If the numbers hold true, it could easily put the 2014 soybean crop at record levels.