At 89.5 million projected acres, the 2017 US soybean acreage would set a record high and near the planting estimate for corn at 90 million acres, according to the March 31 USDA Prospective Plantings Report. In Nebraska soybean acres were also up (5.7 million acres) while corn dropped to 9.55 million acres.
A review of 10 years of soybean research shows that reducing your seeding rate from 150,000 to 120,000 seeds/acre can result in a $10.69/acre savings without affecting yield (assuming a $60/unit seed cost at 140,000 seeds/unit).
Corn and soybean projected prices for the 2017 crop insurance year were recently released by the Risk Management Agency (RMA). The projected price for corn is $3.96 while the price for soybean is $10.19.
The easiest and least expensive way to improve profitability for many soybean growers in tight economic times, or any time, is to sample fields for soybean cyst nematodes (SCN). In Nebraska trials growers realized an average six-bushel-per-acre soybean yield increase after taking no-cost steps to manage SCN.
On most Nebraska rainfed farms, soybean and corn are usually rotated. On irrigated fields, however, the rotation sequence tends to shift to more years of corn between soybean, and in some cases, corn is grown continuously, year-after-year.
Soybean cyst nematode is estimated to cause $40 million in lost soybean yields annually in Nebraska. Soil tests, available free through a program funded by the Nebraska Soybean Board, can help growers identify where this nemesis is a problem so they can manage that field accordingly.