Soybeans plummeted on Friday following new USDA projections expecting U.S. farmers to plant a record 89.5 million acres of soybeans this year. This news was coupled with relatively high stockpiles of beans, another factor that undercut prices.
In the aftermath of the report, soybeans dropped under $9.50 per bushel for the first time since last fall. Meanwhile, corn and wheat prices held steady as acreage projections for those grains were reduced.
Unlike corn and wheat, crops that U.S. farmers have been growing in abundance since the start of our nation, soybeans are a relatively modern crop. The U.S. government only started tracking production of the legume in 1924, and it wasn’t until the 1970’s that soybeans began to match corn and wheat for agricultural dominance.
The soybean was first grown in China almost 10,000 years ago and is now grown all around the world, prized both for its oil and high protein content, making it a common feed ingredient for livestock.