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U.S. farmers may add corn acres in 2019

U.S. farmers may add corn acres in 2019

Tariffs are playing a role in planting intentions, one producer says

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

As the calendar inches towards 2019, American farmers are busy making plans for next year’s planting season.

Commodity prices and input costs are typical factors in farmers’ decision-making processes, but next year’s crop plans will also be shaped by tariff implications.

The trade war between China and the United States has resulted in low soybean prices. Despite a recent trade truce between the two countries, a concrete end to the trade war remains unknown.

Growers are taking that situation into consideration when planning next year’s crops, said Bill Shipley, president of the Iowa Soybean Association.

“There is some discussion of switching acres from soybeans to corn,” he told Farms.com. “On my farm, we’ll maybe have 15 to 20 percent more corn than beans. If everyone does the same, the corn can add up pretty quickly.”

The weather is also playing a role in next year’s planting intentions.

Conditions became cold and snowy quicker than usual, which prevented farmers from doing some fieldwork, Shipley said.

“It turned to winter so early that not a lot of fertilizer got put down,” he said. “We usually do it in the fall, but (we) basically none got done.”

In other cases, farmers are sticking with their standard rotation to divide their grain acres.

“Bean acres were up (across the state) this year and will be down next year because of crop rotation,” Bob Karls, executive director of the Wisconsin Soybean Association, told Farms.com.

He also, however, pointed to some factors that may encourage growers to plant more soybean acres.

“Fertilizer costs are really high and soybeans help eliminate some of the need for fertilizer,” he said. “Bankers also help make the decision on planting intentions, and a lot of times soybeans are viewed more favorably.”

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