Fundamentally Speaking

North-South Divide in Soybean Acreage Changes

Joel Karlin
By  Joel Karlin , DTN Contributing Analyst
Chart by Joel Karlin, DTN Contributing Analyst

USDA's June acreage report is this Friday and trade is looking for 2024 U.S. soybean seedings at 86.8 million acres, up 300,000 from the March intentions, in a range from 85.5-87.5 million.

For most of the spring the pace of soybean plantings was above average so that could result in a rise in planted area from March to June while from April 1 to June 11 the new crop November soybean/December corn price ratio was 2.49, a level that would seem to favor soybeans over late corn plantings.

Along these lines, this chart looks at the 2000-2023 average percent change in soybean planted acreage from the March Prospective Plantings report to the June Acreage figures for the top 18 states on the right-hand axis while reported on the left-hand axis is the minimum and maximum percent changes between the two reports for the time period 2000-2023.

It seems to reason that the more northern states tend to see the June soybean planted figure below what was indicated in the March intentions report as plantings start later in those states and the growing season is shorter so a delayed start to seedings can result in intended area not getting in the ground.

Conversely it is the southern states where June seedings average higher than those in the prospective plantings report given a longer growing season and earlier start date.

Since 2000, North Dakota's soybean planted acreage in the June report tends to average 2% below the March intentions figure with the biggest decline of any state seen at down 15.7% in 2022, while MN and SD also see June plantings often below the March intentions.

Tennessee has the largest average increase between the two reports at up 1.9% followed by LA up 1.8% and MS up 1.7%; that state also saw the largest increase of 21.7% back in 2012.

For the U.S. as a whole, since 2000 the June acreage figure has averaged 0.5% below the March intentions number with the largest positive gain seen in 2014 of up 3.1% with the biggest decline of 5.4% seen in the very wet spring year of 2019.


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