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Farmers eye more beans in 2017

(CIFN file photo)

Strong demand and profitable hedging opportunities on this year’s crop may convince farmers to boost their soybean acreage again next year, according to Farm Futures first survey of 2017 planting intentions.

Results of the annual survey are released on the opening day of Penton Agriculture's 2016 Farm Progress Show, the nation's largest outdoor farm show, held near Boone, Iowa Aug. 20-Sept. 1. Farm Futures is the farm business and marketing information resource for large-scale ag producers.

Growers said they are considering devoting a record 84.4 million acres to the oilseed, up almost 1% from 2016. But at the same time, they plan to put in less corn and wheat. Though farmers have shown a preference for corn historically, red ink may trim plantings to only 93.1 million acres next spring. That would be down around 1 million from 2016, when they boosted plantings 7%.

Wheat seedings could be lower for the fourth consecutive year, in a market beset by low prices. Producers said they were ready to plant 49.1 million acres, down 3.4%, which would be the lowest total since 1970. Most of the cutback would come in hard red winter wheat sown on the central and southern Plains, which had very good yields in 2016, and very weak cash prices as a result.

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