Okay, corn acreage is going to rob from soybeans, but according to a PurdueUniversity specialist, many farmers are planning to stand by the crop. Some likely because they need the nitrogen fix. Others because they recognize that there's a strong need for soybeans and their byproducts.  

Shawn Conley, Purdue's soybean specialist, points to Indiana as an example. "If we look at what we saw in 2006, 53 percent of the acres were soybeans and 47 percent were corn, so we were naturally going to see a shift to more corn in 2007. In Indiana, I can see 58 percent to 60 percent of the acreage being corn - that would just be a 5 percent shift of what we would have seen anyhow."

While some growers will weigh corn-on-corn options, the yield potential in some areas doesn't make it reasonable to plant the crop on the same acres every year.

"Most of the soybeans will probably be following corn, and will be in those areas where the yield potential for continuous corn is not as high," Conley notes.

For many of the fields where growers will plant soybeans, he says farmers see a positive yield trend with early planted crops. He warns, however, that soybeans planted too early won't be covered by crop insurance, so always check those dates.

Another consideration is whether to plant soybeans in a no-till system. "If we look at the current history of soybean production, at least in Indiana, no-till beans into corn stubble has been an excellent system," Conley says.

Other factor to consider is weed control. With the rapid adoption of glyphosate-ready soybeans on the market, and an influx of glyphosate-ready corn varieties, many weeds are now developing glyphosate resistance. That could create major problems down the road, says Conley.

"We need to manage glyphosate resistance, so if a producer is going to use glyphosate with soybeans,  they should diversify their corn weed-control programs to target the worst weeds with at least two modes of action," Conley says.

"Bill Johnson, our weed scientist, has done some good work looking at burn-down treatments - using some form of glyphosate and 2,4-D plus a residual herbicide prior to planting, putting soybeans into a clean field and then coming in with some form of glyphosate later," notes Conley.

Of course spring weather and planting conditions will also have a final say in the acreage outcome.

Source: PurdueUniversity