Since the late 1970s and 1980s, soybeans in the southeast have taken a back seat to cotton, corn, peanuts and other traditional southern crops. However, with bean prices up and production costs up across the board, many growers in the upper Southeast are taking a closer look at soybeans, according to Southeast Farm Press.

The demand for soybeans for biodiesel production is one reason for the increase, as is the dismal showing of corn which will likely cause growers to look for other crops, especially in terms of profitability through much of the droughty Southeast.

The bottom line is likely an increase in acreage, even in some non-traditional soybean-producing states. North Carolina currently produces nearly as many soybeans as other Southeastern states combined.

Charles Hall, executive director of the North Carolina Soybean Growers Association, says, “regarding an overall prediction on acres for next year, I'd guess the acreage will look a lot like 2007 — nearly 1.4 million acres planted.”