Soybeans on track for record-breaking yields

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Soybeans around the state are thriving on the temperate summer weather. If temperatures stay moderate, Indiana may see record-breaking soybean yields for 2014.

Purdue Agricultural Economist Chris Hurt said temperatures are not too hot or too cold, which is helping the crops.

“We’ve got a crop that is about the fourth best crop in nearly the last 30 years,” said Hurt. “So, it is rated very high in terms of condition of that crop.”

Hurt said the rain at the start of the season was beneficial as well. The soils are saturated and it will help the crop access moisture if the weather becomes dry.

“Generally in late July and August, there’s not enough precipitation for what the crop needs,” Hurt explained. “And if there is good subsoil reserves, the crop’s roots can go down and draw on that.”

The record yield was set in 2004 with 51 and a half bushels per acre. Hurt says soybeans were shy of the record at 51 bushels per acre in 2013.

“This year, we’re looking at maybe 52 bushels, which would be a new record high. So, right now the crop does have the potential for record yields if the weather holds this summer,” said Hurt.

Hurt said even though soybean yields look promising, it is still too early to be sure.

“The most critical time period to determine yields in soybeans is late July and August,” said Hurt. “So, that means that time is still out in front of us and there could be a possibility that weather would turn adverse.”

Hurt says a bushel of soybeans brought about 13 dollars in Indiana last year. If the weather remains favorable, this year’s crop could potentially be near 10 dollars per bushel. Bushel prices that low would help lower prices on products at grocery stores.

“Animal numbers are going to rise because of lower soybean meal prices and that means as we get to 2015, we’ll see more meat protein available and somewhat lower prices at the grocery store,” Hurt explained.

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