For four years in a row crop farmers in Illinois, other parts of the nation too, have made more money on soybeans than corn.
The numbers are pretty clear and University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey lays them out in an online farmdocDaily article. He says, on average, soybeans have been more profitable than corn since 2013.
And farmers have responded to the price.
When you look at historic price ratio changes, it is relatively easy to see when demand has pushed one crop over the other. The corn-based ethanol build up, for instance, from 2006 to 2013 has a soybean-to-corn price ratio of 2.42… that means the price of soybeans is 2.42 times greater than the price of corn.
Ethanol plants were being built around the United States at this time, and there was a big need for more bushels of corn. Farmers responded and planted more corn. That need has now leveled off at the same time China has been continually increasing its need for soybeans. Today the soybean-to-corn ratio is 2.72. This ratio continually changes says Schnitkey.
Just as an FYI, the long-term soybean-to-corn ratio, 1972 to present, is 2.55.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.