The rough planting season in South Dakota — particularly for soybeans — was put into numbers on Friday.
The state’s producers planted 4.8 million acres of corn, and 4.4 million acres of soybeans, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service report released Friday. That equates to a 9 percent decrease in corn planting, compared to the same point last year, and a 22 percent decrease in soybean planted acreage from a year ago. The numbers are based on surveys with farmers in the first two weeks of June.
Last year, South Dakota had 5.3 million acres of corn and 5.65 million acres of soybeans planted at this time. Overall plantings for all major crops in South Dakota was also down, with 17.3 million acres planted in 2018 and down to 15.1 million in 2019, a decrease of 12.5 percent.
South Dakota is also storing far more in soybeans currently, as well, according to the USDA NASS grain stocks report released Friday. An estimated 100 million bushels — an 86 percent increase from last year — is currently being stored, including an estimated 59 million on farms. Last year, all of South Dakota had 53.8 million soybeans in storage at this time.
Nationally, stored soybeans as of June 1 totaled 1.79 billion bushels, the USDA said, up 47 percent from June 1, 2018. Soybeans stored on-farm totaled 730 million bushels, up 94 percent from a year ago, while off-farm stocks were totaled at 1.06 billion bushes, up 26 percent from last year.
Central Farmers Cooperative General Manager and CEO Mark Finck, whose organization is based in Marion but has locations spanning from locations in Canova to Tyndall and Viborg to Dimock, said it’s been clear that soybean planting across CFC’s trade area has been reduced dramatically.
“We’ve tried to ballpark it, and I think it’s 45 to 50 percent of the soybean crop in our trade area has been planted,” he said.
Finck said there’s two major parts of the planting scene.
“You have guys that are frustrated with the inability to get in and plant and they’re looking at what they can get done, and you have the livestock guys that still need to plant because they need to have feed that they can give to their cattle,” he said.
Nationally, a similar story is being told for soybeans. Plantings are estimated at 80 million acres, down 10 percent from last year, marking the lowest soybean planted acreage in the U.S. since 2013, and the planted acreage is down in all 29 estimating states with the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Corn plantings are estimated at 91.7 million acres, up 3 percent from last year, and up or unchanged in 40 states.
The March forecasts from the USDA had estimated 92.8 million corn acres and 84.6 million soybean acres, but the impact of poor spring weather across the entire Midwest was evident in Friday’s report.
Finck said eastern South Dakota is looking at a severely reduced crop this fall, and it could take awhile to see a rebound.
“There will be significantly less bushels that are going to be available for elevators and for the ethanol plants,” he said. “I think it’s going to really take to the fall of 2021 before we see a potential turnaround.”