If you have most of your 2013 soybeans in the bin, “it could be time to get a bunch of them sold to guard against lower prices” that could follow the March 31 Prospective Plantings report, says Jim Hilker, Michigan State University ag economics professor.

“I think we’re in trouble on new-crop (2014), even with the lowest estimates of 78.5 million soybean acres,” he adds. “If a farmer has much of his 2013 crop left, he needs to be looking at it the same way as looking at new crop.” 

Old-crop May soybean futures were trading at near $14.35 per bushel on Friday, with July right behind at $14.06. Those prices compared to new-crop November futures at $11.89. All are far above Hilker’s projections.

“At the 78.5 million estimate – that story has me under $10 for 2014-2015,” he says. “If we come in at 2.5 million more acres (81 million), I don’t know where we would get rid of the bushels. New-crop is now at $11.89. As a fundamentalist, I cannot see that price. I see soybean prices in the $10 range.

“If you take a 70¢ under basis off the $11.89 we’re at $11.20. That’s at least $1 higher than I think it will be.” 

Farm Futures, sister publication to Corn+Soybean Digest, reported that its recent farmer surveys show prospective plantings could approach a record 83 million acres. Planting could wind up anywhere between that big number and 78 million.

Higher planted acres could join world issues in impacting soybean and other grain prices. Russian troops on the Ukraine border at one end and South American bean production on the other could cause price shifts.

Soybeans were under pressure early Friday, partly due talk that some Brazilian beans that were headed to China will end up in the U.S., says Brett Crotts, Schwieterman Marketing analyst. “We probably need them to avoid shortages this summer, so imports of beans and meal should not be a surprise,” he says.

Meanwhile, with current new-crop prices, Farm Futures reports that growers should also be thinking about 2014 marketing, and “focus on getting 35% of new crop priced by the first week of April.”

Those who bought Revenue Protection on 85% of trend adjusted yield and sign up for Agriculture Risk Coverage should have a good safety net for 2014, Farm Futures reported.

But that’s for this year’s crop. Sales of remaining 2013 soybeans should still be on the minds of farmers with beans in the bin.