Fundamentally Speaking

USDA Long-Term Soybean Yield Projections

Joel Karlin
By  Joel Karlin , DTN Contributing Analyst

Based on prospective 2017 net return per acre budgets, the current very high new crop soybean-corn price ratio and talk that bankers are requesting to their cash strapped farm customers that they reduce expenditures, expectations are for a huge surge in U.S. soybean plantings this coming spring.

That, combined with a continuation of the stellar yields seen in recent years with four consecutive seasons of record highs, we could be swimming in soybeans a year from now.

Similar to what we did with U.S. corn yields, this chart shows the actual and the long-term projected USDA soybean yields in bushels per acre (bpa) in blue along with the 30-year trend in black, the 20-year trend in green and the ten-year trend in red.

These are linear trends of the actual yields and are extended for another ten years going out to 2026 similar to what the USDA has done.

The ten-year trend has yields increasing by 1.05 bushels per acre with the 20 year increasing at a rate of 0.57 bpa and the 30 year at 0.52 bpa per year.

The fact that the ten-year trend is so much higher than the 20 or 30 year trends is linked to the superlative performance seen in recent seasons especially this past year where the current projected record yield of 52.5 bpa is a whopping 12.0% above the 30-year trend topping all years since 1987 except for 1994's 16.7% above trend figure.

Note that next year's yield is pegged at 47.9 bpa which is well below this year's new record of 52.5 bpa and even below the prior record set just last year at 48.0 bpa and some may see that as unrealistic.

By the end of the forthcoming ten-year period the final USDA projected yield is 52.4 bpa which is lower than the ten year 59.4 yield, and the 20 year 52.9 yield though above the 30 year 52.0 yield.

(KA)

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