Organic Soybean Acres Planted are Likely to Rise


Organic soybean planting is likely to rise related to organic corn planting during the coming harvest according to The Jacobsen. This is because the average value per acre for organic corn has declined substantially relative to the value per acre for organic soybeans. The relative value is measured by The Jacobsen Planting Acre Index.

The Jacobsen planting acre index is beginning to consolidate at 4-year lows. The index calculates the theoretical value of an acre of organic corn relative to the theoretical value of an acre of organic soybeans. The assumptions used are based on the Jacobsen calculation of the average yield per bushel in the Midwest for both organic corn and organic soybeans. The index ignores any additional costs for switching and any additional costs of planning organic corn compared to organic soybeans.

After hitting a higher of more than $800 per bushel in August of 2018 (which coincides with the 4-year high of organic corn prices The JacobsenPUATF), the index has declined by more than $500 per bushel and is hovering below $300 for the first time in the past 4-years.

The low level of the index means that the strong demand for soybeans and the lack of supply during the 2019/2020 season, makes organic soybeans a good option in the rotation despite the value being lower than the value of an acre of organic corn in the mid-west.

Prices Remain Stable

Organic corn prices are stable with little to no activity in the spot market hovering around $7/$7.1 picked up at the farm in the mid-west. Some merchandisers are now quoting $7 delivered into their mid-west facilities. This could put additional downward pressure on prices. Organic corn prices in South Central PA remain near $350 per short-ton delivered for new crop, and slightly below for spot. Organic soybean prices are hovering just above $20 per bushel, but there is little product around. Organic soybean meal prices are hovering near the $760 level mid-west, and have similar values in PA.