Companies are gauging next year's market demand and are completing work to secure acreage to grow the 2008 seed crop. Here, too, they've seen the impact of corn.
Pioneer says that, although it didn't have significant difficulty securing soybean seed acres, there were areas where the boost in corn acreage made getting those last few acres of soybean seed more challenging. “A soybean acre that's lost to corn isn't something we can make up,” Schafer says.
Steve Sopher, agronomist and regional sales manager with Latham Seeds in Alexander, IA, says the company grows 90% of its soybean seed supply locally, so securing acreage hasn't been a huge concern. And while the company provides most of the storage for those soybeans, it has found securing outside storage more difficult. “Producers are locking up storage for corn so they can deliver directly to ethanol plants,” he says.
Jon Scharingson, agribusiness marketing manager for soybeans at Syngenta, explains that the corn increase in 2008 is expected to take more soybean acres out of production in the Corn Belt but says that strong soybean prices may shift where additional soybeans are planted. “There will be a lot of corn near ethanol plants,” he says. “But soybeans should start grabbing acreage away from cotton in the South, wheat in the north-central plains, and we're even starting to see an expansion of soybeans in the Delmarva area. I think we'll be sitting on 60 million to 65 million acres of soybeans for the next three to five years.”