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  • Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Unconventional Ag Media

U.S. Organic Soybean Acreage Set to Decline by as Much as 15 Pct. This Year

As prices have risen in recent years, growers have been increasing their acreage, but this year, U.S. organic soybean planting is set to decline by about 15 percent, according to organic market intelligence firm Mercaris, which explained the drivers behind the shift. This follows upon last year, which saw overall organic oilseed production jump by 23 percent, and organic soybean acreage alone climb by 74,000 acres - an event that Mercaris noted was not sustainable.

A main driver for the surge in production in 2021 and 2022 was the deterioration of U.S. trade relations with India. Before the U.S. ended an equivalency agreement recognizing India’s organic certifications, that country was one of the top suppliers of organic soybeans to the U.S. market. The loss of that agreement drove organic soybean prices to as much as $45 per bushel.

With stabilization of trade relations, the price has settled at $20-$25 per bushel with new organic suppliers emerging from Africa, and the Black Sea region, creating new competition and resulting in U.S. feed markets returning to their normal state where the majority of soybeans are imported.

As prices land at their new normal, and consumer demand for organic products wanes due to the economic slowdown, acreage will likely return to its previous crops of organic wheat, organic corn, or conventional crops, due to slim margins between organic and conventional soybean prices.


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