WASHINGTON — The Spring crop insurance price discovery period for corn and soybeans wrapped up at the end of February. The final numbers show corn at $4.00 per bushel which is basically unchanged from the 2018 and 2017 values of $3.96. Soybeans ended the period at $9.54 which is down 6.5% from 2018 and the lowest level since 2016’s $8.85. The change in the price relationship is sure to get a few people thinking about where soybean and corn acreages might land in 2019.
The USDA’s initial estimate of planted acreage pegged soybeans at 85 million acres and corn at 92 million acres. This is a departure from the previous two years which saw acreage of the two crops roughly equal. In 2018 the combined acreage of the two crops was 178 million acres. If realized, the 2019 USDA forecast would put the combined acreage down slightly at 177 million acres. Thus, the forecast is basically calling for a shift of soybean to corn acres in 2019.