Farmers pushing to get soybeans planted by the 15th - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Farmers pushing to get soybeans planted by the 15th

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Time is ticking for farmers trying to get their soybean crop in the field. This wet planting season has put many farmers behind.

Paul Harberts, Grundy County, has been farming for 35 years. This planting season has had it's share of challenges.

"Slow. We're basically a month behind schedule is about what it really amounts to and we're still not done," said Harberts.

Harberts is working to get 300 acres of soybeans in the ground before Saturday. That's the last day for farmers to get full insurance coverage.

"I've probably left 15 to 20 acres behind but I've also left my poor drained farms to last so I don't know what I will run into in the last few acres."

But Harberts isn't the only one playing catch up. As of Sunday according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Crops and Weather report Iowa farmers have planted 60 percent of intended soybean acres.

"It's the wettest spring I've been in. We farmed in 93 but it seemed like we didn't have so much trouble getting the crops in. It was more a lot of rain later that caused problems with spraying and those types of things," said Harberts.


Iowa Soybean Association Press Release

Soybean farmers continue to plant crops, assess risk as wet weather continues

‘One of the most challenging years, even worse than last year's drought,' says one soybean grower

Ankeny, Iowa – Spring planting could linger into summer for many soybean farmers. As the nation's leader in soybean and corn production, Iowa's trading partners and commodity markets are keeping a close watch on planting progress in the Hawkeye state.

Iowa farmers have planted 60 percent of intended soybean acres and 92 percent of corn as of Sunday, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Crops and Weather Report. The five-year average is 95 percent and 99 percent, respectively.

Grant Kimberley, Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) director of market development, farms with his father, Rick, in central Iowa. They're struggling to get crops planted and may be forced to take prevented planting insurance coverage like many other farmers, which rarely occurs in Iowa.

"This is one of the most difficult planting seasons some farmers have ever faced, even worse than last year's drought," explains Kimberley. "There are about 30 million acres of soybeans left to plant throughout the U.S. that will not yield to their full potential and millions of prime farmland acres will go unplanted."

The USDA World Agriculture and Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report released today predicts national corn production and reserves will decline slightly due to planting delays. Soybean ending stocks and productivity projections, though, weren't adjusted. Soybean ending stocks for 2013-14 were pegged at 265 million bushels. Corn reserves are projected at 1.95 billion bushels, down 55 million from last month.

Soybean production nationwide is projected at 3.39 billion bushels, unchanged from last month. Corn production is pegged at slightly more than 14 billion bushels, 135 million bushels lower than May estimates.

Yield predictions are mixed. Corn was lowered 1.5 bushels from last month to 156.5 bushels per acre. Soybeans are unchanged at 44.5 bushels per acre.

Kimberley says these projections are highly tentative and uncertain at this date. Based off current conditions and stable global demand, he anticipates the USDA will eventually adjust carryout's lower.

"Historically, the USDA is very conservative and slow to make adjustments and tends to underestimate negative impacts to the growing crop from weather as well they typically underestimate the strength of global demand, especially China," Kimberley says.

Corn and soybean prices on the Chicago Board of Trade dropped substantially after the WASDE report was released. November soybeans plummeted more than 14 cents to $13.13 per bushel early Wednesday afternoon. December corn dropped more than 13 cents to $5.37 per bushel.

ISA President Mark Jackson of Rose Hill says the market's negative price reaction shows the sensitivity to soybean yield potential. "The possible shifts in corn and soybean acres along with production concerns are the wild cards in forecasting farmers' harvest incomes for 2013," he says.

Demand remains strong for soybeans, both with domestic crush and soybean and soybean meal exports. These prices, Kimberley says, will be good buying opportunities for end users to extend coverage. He anticipates that Chinese buyers will step up purchases on any pull back in prices.

As farmers struggle with timely planting due the continued wet weather, the ISA is actively sharing information to assist them with decision making. This week, the ISA produced and distributed a soybean planting brief answering frequently-asked economic and agronomic questions about late planting. It's available under the "what's new" section at and will be continuously updated through June.


The Iowa Soybean Association develops policies and programs that help farmers expand profit opportunities while promoting environmentally sensitive production using the soybean check off and other resources. The Association is made up of 10,000 farmer members and is governed by an elected volunteer board of 21 farmers.

Funded by the soybean check off

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