For the first time in three decades, U.S. farmers planted more soybeans than corn in 2018. However, that’s likely to reverse again due to tariffs on U.S. soybeans from the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.
Dow Jones Business and Financial News reports farmers could convert as much as four million acres from soybeans to corn next spring. Soybean inspections from U.S. west coast ports are down 82 percent from year-ago levels, and soybean prices have dropped 11 percent as China has enforced a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans. Market experts say final planting decisions for 2019 may not occur until weeks or even days before farmers plant fields due to the uncertainty over tariffs.
For 2018, the Department of Agriculture estimated U.S. farmers planted 89.1 million acres of corn, and 89.6 million acres of soybeans.