Revised December 2012 by Diane Huntrods, AgMRC, Iowa State University.
The United States is the world's leading soybean producer and exporter. Soybean production dropped again in 2011 to nearly 3.1 billion bushels, down 8 percent from 2010. (Crop Production Annual Summary, NASS, USDA, 2012.)
The average price per bushel for soybeans exceeded 2010's record $11.30, reaching $11.70 per bushel. With reduced production, however, the total value of 2011's soybean crop fell to $35.8 billion. (Crop Values Annual Summary, NASS, USDA, 2012.)
Like their ranking for corn production, the states of Iowa and Illinois remain the leading producers of soybeans, followed by Minnesota and Nebraska. (Crop Production Annual Summary, NASS, USDA, 2012.)
Processed soybeans are the largest source of protein feed (soybean meal) and second-leading source of vegetable oil (soybean oil) in the world, surpassed only by palm oil.
Despite this summer's drought, an increase in the estimated soybean yield to 39.3 bushels per acre raised USDA's 2012 production forecast to 2.97 billion. However, USDA lowered its forecast of the 2012 average farm price to $13.90 - $15.90. Higher soybean supplies would support export demand and domestic crush this season. (Oil Crops Outlook, ERS, USDA, November 2012)
For more information about soybean quality and storage, visit the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative.
Organic Field Crops Harvested from Certified and Exempt Organic Farms: 2008, 2008 Organic Production Survey, National Ag Statistics Service (NASS), USDA, 2010.
Field Crops: 2007 and 2002, 2007 Census of Agriculture - State Data, NASS, USDA, 2009.