- The U.S. crops sector will respond in the short term to relatively high prices in 2011-12, the report said. Planted area for eight major field crops in 2012 is projected to reach 251 million acres, the second-largest acreage level of the past 10 years.
U.S. soybean plantings are projected to decline in 2012, reflecting competition from corn, but then expand to 76 million acres by 2014. Over the rest of the projection period, growth in both domestic use and export demand keep prices and producer returns favorable enough to hold soybean plantings steady.
Strong global demand for soybeans, particularly in China, is expected to boost soybean trade over the projection period. Even though U.S. soybean exports are projected to rise, competition from South America is projected to lead to a reduction in the U.S. share of global soybean trade from 37 percent in 2011-12 to about 32 percent by 2021-22.
Strengthening demand for soybeans are projected to hold soybean prices high throughout the projection period.