By Jessica Domel
Multimedia Reporter

U.S. soybean growers could break “a record on top of a record” if the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) forecast is realized this year.

Recording breaking yields and the second highest planted and harvested soy acreage are forecast in USDA’s September World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.

“We’re looking at record high production for the U.S. at 4.69 billion bushels. That’s up 2.3 percent from the August forecast and up 6.9 percent from last year,” Warren Preston, USDA’s deputy chief economist, said. “Last year was a record production year, so we’re looking at a record on top of a record.”

This year, a projected 89.6 million acres of soybeans will be planted. USDA forecasts 88.9 million acres will be harvested.

“Similar to corn, we have an increase in the yield estimates for soybeans, up 2.3 percent from the August forecast. That’s 1.2 bushels per acre, which would give us an estimate of 52.8 bushels an acre,” he said.

Beginning stocks were 395 million bushels, which is down from last month’s forecast of 430 million bushels.

The U.S. is forecast to export around 2.06 million bushels this year, leaving ending stocks around 845 million bushels.

The average on-season farm price is estimated between $7.35 and $9.85 a bushel.

For soybean oil, the average price is projected at 28 to 32 cents per pound, unchanged from last month’s forecast.
In 2016-17, soybean oil brought an average of 32.48 cents per pound.

According to USDA, soybean meal will bring an estimated $290 to $330 a short ton, which is five cents lower than last month’s forecast.

In 2016-17, soybean meal averaged $316.88 a short ton.

In 2017-18, the price is estimated at $345 a short ton.

The increase in U.S. production prompted USDA to also alter its global soybean production forecast this month to 369.32 million metric tons (MMT).

China is also forecast to have a larger-than-expected crop. The increases in U.S. and Chinese production will be partially offset by production decreases in Canada, India and Uruguay, according to USDA.

Global ending stocks for soybeans are estimated at 108.26 MMT.