Market watchers have been speculating most of this year on how the crop acreage will shake out in 2014. In the Mid-South, growers have already been planting corn, but rainfall and cooler temperatures are expected to give many a chance to continue their decisionmaking.
“There is definitely a lot of flux, a lot of indecision in the amount of acres of corn, cotton and soybeans,” says Chad Brewer, Mycogen grain development specialist for the Upper Mid-South. “We believe that soybean acreage definitely will be up this year given the price position it has relative to the other crops.”
Brewer, interviewed during a Dow AgroSciences media event at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in Memphis, Tenn., says corn and cotton acres continue to be in flux right now due to the ongoing uncertainty over the volatile political situation in the Ukraine and the future of the cotton reserve in China.
“I do think we will see a reduction in corn acres compared to 2013, but it definitely will not be going away wholesale,” he said. “We will see an increase in cotton acres, but how much is yet to be determined.”
Many growers are waiting to see what the weather will do and what the spring of 2014 brings, he noted.
Mycogen, meanwhile is planning to introduce new soybean varieties and corn hybrids out of its Mid-South breeding program in Leland, Miss. Although Mycogen is a relatively new name in the Mid-South, Dow AgroSciences has been developing new hybrids and soybean varieties adapted to the region since 2007.
“This testing program began in 2007 and really developed into a breeding program over the last few years," said Brewer. “The soybean products like 2Y765, 2C786 and hybrids like 2H77 have really come out of that program. We’ve been running several thousand plots out of that Leland, Miss., station up and down both side of the Mississippi River for the last seven years.
“So while it may be a new name to the Mid-South the testing program has been here for quite a while."