A Lot Riding on This Year's Soybean Crop
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In New York State this year, the soybean crop is booming.
“We had a great planting season, so a lot of soybeans went in," said Craig Yunker, owner of CY Farms and Batavia Turf.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s report Friday, the soybean crop in New York is on track for a record harvest: about 14.2 million bushels will be picked; a nineteen-percent jump over last year.
“We've gotten some rains at the beginning of August, when the soybeans need it. I think the yield will be pretty good.”
Yunker says his crop is maturing well, and only needs average rainfall this month to finish strong, but elsewhere in the world, soybean crops are suffering.
"South America is the second-largest producer of soybeans, behind the United States. South America's had problems. Brazil is out of soybeans. ”
Even though there are soy products for humans, like soy sauce or soy milk, it’s estimated 98-percent of the soybeans grown in America are used to feed livestock. And with drought conditions nationwide, but no less livestock, these soybeans in New York just got a lot more valuable.
“The world is waiting on this U.S. soybean crop, and it's smaller than expected because of problems out west.”
And one state like New York can’t make up for all those troubles – certainly not cheaply.
“Soybeans are now at about $16.70 a bushel. They've gone up about 40-percent in recent months.”
Which is good for Craig Yunker, but bad for other farmers – like dairy.
"We have a lot of dairy farmers in this area. They buy a lot of soybean meal to feed as a protein source for cattle. It's going to pinch their margin, between the price of milk and the price of feed inputs."
Meaning a new storm may soon be on the horizon.