U.S. Ag Department Expects Soybean Crops at Record Level in North Dakota

A survey found that farmers are planting more soybeans than ever in North Dakota

NORTH DAKOTA — The U.S Agriculture Department says soybeans are expected to be planted at a record high level in North Dakota.

A recent survey found that more farmers are investing in the crop that’s in high demand.

“This will really be a turning point year,” said Peter Lovas, of Lovas Farms in Hillsboro.

According to a survey done by the USDA, soybean planting in North Dakota is going up 14% to 6.9 million acres.

“We expected soybean acres to increase this coming planting season but not by that much,” said Diana Beitelspacher, CEO of the North Dakota Soybean Council. “That’s a phenomenal record if that indeed happens.”

She believes farmers are making the right move.

“When farmers see demand and prices a little bit higher, they’re going to shift acres,”said Beitelspacher.

However, there is a risk with everyone planting more of the same crop.

“That’s the double edged sword,” she added. “When you have more acres, prices are more likely to come down.”

Lovas said rotation is a key factor in planning what to grow.

“You start putting soybeans and soybeans and it’s going to cost you in the long run when you get diseases and different things,” he explained.

Lovas said North Dakota has the best land in the world, but the climate doesn’t always match up and that’s what decides when crops are planted.

“We’ve had two real good crops in a row with poor prices,” he said. “We’re just hanging on.”

“Agriculture is so dependent on the weather and what happens globally so things could change,” explained Beitelspacher.

China remains the top international customer for soybeans.

“The demand oversees for soybeans and the soybean content that they contain is very high,” said Beitelspacher.

And when it comes to local farming….

“I’m really lucky I farm with my son,” said Lovas.

Some things stay the same every year.

“To smell the fresh soil in the morning and watch the miracles of life take off, that’s what’s really fun,” he said.

The survey also found that the amount of wheat grown in North Dakota is expected to drop by 10 percent.

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