Wallaces Farmer

This past year was one of the driest on record, yet Iowa produced more soybeans than any other state.

Rod Swoboda 1, Editor, Wallaces Farmer

January 13, 2013

4 Min Read

Final U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates for 2012 show that despite weathering one of the driest growing seasons on record, Iowa soybean farmers continued to lead the nation in soybean production. The department's annual 2012 Crop Production Summary report was released Jan. 11, 2013 and shows the final numbers for the 2012 crop.


Iowa soybean farmers led the nation with an estimated 413.8 million bushels produced last year. Per-acre soybean production in Iowa for 2012 totaled 44.5 bushels, down from last year's total of 51.5 bushels, but still up by a half bushel per acre from USDA's November estimate of 44 bushels per acre. "These yields truly are a testament to Iowa soybean farmers," says Mark Jackson, Iowa Soybean Association president. "After going through the dry weather, our yields in 2012 were down less than 5% from a normal year and that should bode well for our customers' confidence. It shows our farmers can continue to meet the needs of our customers, no matter what Mother Nature brings our way."

Projected average price for 2012 crop soybeans is lowered a little by USDA

According to the USDA World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimates or WASDE report, also released Jan. 11, 2013, U.S. bean production in 2012 totaled 3.01 billion bushels, making it the seventh largest bean crop on record. National average yields were estimated at 39.6 bushels per acre.

The projected range for 2012/2013 marketing season average for bean prices was lowered 30 cents at the midpoint by USDA in the WASDE report, and narrowed to a range of $13.50 to $15 per bushel. This is a farm price, as projected by USDA.

U.S. corn production was estimated at 10.8 billion bushels, 13% below 2011. The average U.S. corn yield in was estimated at 123.4 bushels per acre for 2012. The WASDE projected corn ending stocks at 602 million bushels, while the projected season-average farm price for corn is unchanged at $6.80 to $8 per bushel.

Livestock farmers are still feeling the pinch of higher costs for feed

"Livestock farmers are still feeling the pinch of higher costs for their feed and I definitely can attest to that, but we're also certainly working smarter," says Jackson who farms near Rose Hill in southeast Iowa. He and his family raise soybeans and corn and also custom feed hogs. "With so much market volatility and competition from other places in the world that are raising soybeans such as South America, farmers in the U.S. are definitely learning how to look at the whole system and make marketing a priority."~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~

Demand for U.S. soybeans, soybean oil and soybean meal continues to be strong. The WASDE report estimated higher domestic soybean meal consumption and increased soybean meal exports. U.S. soybean export estimates remained at 1.345 billion bushels for the 2012/2013 marketing year and 2012/13 soybean ending stocks next August 31 are projected at 135 million bushels, up 5 million from the estimate USDA released last month.

Meat production expected to rise in 2013, should keep bean meal demand strong

"U.S. meat production is expected to increase in 2013 for pork, beef, broiler and turkey," notes Grant Kimberley, director of market development for ISA. "That means strong demand for soybean meal domestically, and the cash basis should remain strong due to positive crush margins for processors with strong meal and oil demand."

In addition, soybean oil demand should grow in 2013 due to the reinstatement of the federal biodiesel tax credit by Congress. They made the tax credit retroactive to 2012 and also in effect for 2013. Biodiesel production will also get a boost from the 280 million gallon increase to the Renewable Fuel Standard or RFS-2, which moves the RFS-2 for biodiesel up to 1.280 billion gallons required to be used nationwide in 2013. The $1 per gallon tax credit for blenders of biodiesel could actually mean that biodiesel demand could go as high as 1.7 billion gallons, says Kimberley.

Kimberley adds that international demand for soy should remain strong in places like China for whole beans, and soybean meal continues to garner strong global demand. To learn more visit www.iasoybeans.com.

For the complete USDA Annual Crop Production report for 2012, click here.

For the January USDA Grain Stocks report, click here.

For the complete USDA global supply and demand estimates report, click here.

About the Author(s)

Rod Swoboda 1

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Rod, who has been a member of the editorial staff of Wallaces Farmer magazine since 1976, was appointed editor of the magazine in April 2003. He is widely recognized around the state, especially for his articles on crop production and soil conservation topics, and has won several writing awards, in addition to honors from farm, commodity and conservation organizations.

"As only the tenth person to hold the position of Wallaces Farmer editor in the past 100 years, I take seriously my responsibility to provide readers with timely articles useful to them in their farming operations," Rod says.

Raised on a farm that is still owned and operated by his family, Rod enjoys writing and interviewing farmers and others involved in agriculture, as well as planning and editing the magazine. You can also find Rod at other Farm Progress Company activities where he has responsibilities associated with the magazine, including hosting the Farm Progress Show, Farm Progress Hay Expo and the Iowa Master Farmer program.

A University of Illinois grad with a Bachelors of Science degree in agriculture (ag journalism major), Rod joined Wallaces Farmer after working several years in Washington D.C. as a writer for Farm Business Incorporated.

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