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Corn and Soybeans Season: A Look Ahead

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recent projections shed light on the anticipated trends for corn and soybean acreage in 2024. The planted area for corn is forecasted at 91 million acres, marking a decline from the previous year. This decrease is attributed to lower expected prices and a return to a more typical level of planted acres. On the other hand, soybeans are showing a different trend, with an expected increase in planted area, driven by a growing demand as a feedstock for renewable diesel production, which produces renewable propane as a byproduct.

As current prices for corn and soybeans are on the lower end, there’s limited incentive for farmers to expand their acreage. The markets for both crops have experienced notable declines since December. This price trend could influence farmers’ decisions on which crop to prioritize, potentially impacting the overall acreage for corn and soybeans.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predictions suggest a warmer spring and summer for most of the U.S., except some areas in the Southwest and central High Plains. Drier conditions expected west of the Mississippi could impact crop health and yields. If the weather aligns with these assumptions and planting kicks off timely in April, farmers could witness increased yields. However, this is contingent on actual weather patterns aligning with forecasts, a variable that remains to be closely monitored.

As the agricultural sector stands on the cusp of a new planting season, the interplay of market forces, weather conditions, and strategic crop choices will shape the outcomes for corn and soybean production. The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) will continue to provide data and information this season by including a weekly crop progress report starting in April, working with advocacy organizations, and the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC). These continued initiatives will provide insights into the trends and updates on the Corn Belt’s status, offering a real-time gauge of the season’s progression.

For more information or questions about the USDA’s Grains and Oilseeds report, NOAA’s spring and summer weather predictions, or corn and soybeans production, please contact Twana Aiken, NPGA Senior Manager, Industry Affairs.