USDA outlook suggests major increase in soybean planting

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 7:12 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A federal judge in New Mexico has stepped into the Waters of the USA controversy. That judge has ordered a delay in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s version of the rule. The judge referred to President Biden’s executive order regarding public health, the environment and climate change that requires federal agencies to review all rules put in place in the last 4 years. That means the Biden team will have until May 1st to review and react to the rule.

USDA officials are in the middle of their annual Outlook Conference in Washington. At yesterday’s session, chief economist Seth Meyer gave the outlook on spring planting across the country. Mayer said their surveys indicate farmers will increase soybean plantings by almost 7 million acres this spring, bringing total bean acres up to 90 million. He also said farmers will plant 92 million acres to corn—up just over 1 million acres from 2020. On the price side, USDA economists are estimating soybean prices at $11.25 a bushel and corn at $4.20 a bushel for the 2021 growing season.

Yesterday’s meeting also dealt with trade issues. During that session, economists projected a boost in sales to China to a record $31 billion with our overall foreign agricultural trade reaching $157 billion—an increase of 21 billion from 2020.

We’re still waiting on the Senate to confirm some of President Biden’s nominees to head agencies that have the most affects on agriculture. Katherine Tai who will be our new Trade Ambassador probably won’t have a confirmation vote until late March. Michael Regan, who is in line to head the Environmental Protection Agency, could come up for a vote next week or the week after while Tom Vilsack should be confirmed next Tuesday. None are expected to have problems being confirmed.

National FFA Week Starts tomorrow and runs through the 27th. Local FFA chapters will hold events all week long to celebrate and share agricultural knowledge with their fellow students and their communities. The first FFA Week was celebrated in 1948.

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