U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates indicate Brazil is neck and neck with the United States in total soybean production.
USDA estimates show Brazil will harvest more than 3.012 billion bushels of beans this year, compared to nearly 3.015 billion bushels harvested in the U.S. last fall.
According to David Iverson, United Soybean Board (USB) farmer-director from Astoria, S.D., this big crop could extend Brazil’s export supply and negatively impact the price U.S. soybean farmers receive this year.
“It’s going to take longer to export such a large crop, so we may see a price reduction during our harvest season, especially if Brazil and Argentina still have a supply of soybeans then,” says Iverson.
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“Even though Brazil’s success may impact our market, a lot of our customers really like the quality of U.S. soybeans.”
And transportation infrastructure is on U.S. farmers’ sides, too, notes Iverson. The reliability and efficiency of the U.S. transportation system has always been a competitive advantage for U.S. soybean farmers, despite the need for upgrades and repairs.
Brazil continues to struggle with clogged ports and roads. Soybean vessels have waited as long as 39 days to load at the country’s main port of Santos, according to the Bloomberg news service.
Iverson, along with USB Director Bob Metz, visited Brazilian port facilities on the Amazon River earlier this year with the South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and saw those trucking and shipping bottlenecks first-hand.
“We need to maintain our transportation infrastructure and keep making improvements to our lock-and-dam system, roads and bridges, and rail system so we don’t lose that competitive edge,” says Iverson.
“Even with a drought affecting our yields last year, we are still able to produce more soybeans than Brazil, which had a bumper crop harvest.”
See more at http://www.unitedsoybean.org/.
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