Gas Prices Increase Soybean Plantings
Kelly Forck grew up on a Jefferson City farm, where he's planting equal amounts of corn and soybeans this spring because of higher gasoline prices.
"We've got over a 100% increase in fuel costs for what we did last spring," explained Forck. "So, our margins are going to be a little tighter this year, unless we see an upside in the market."
Farmers across Missouri plan to harvest 11% less corn than last year, partly because corn harvesting uses gas-guzzling equipment. So, they're switching part of their production to soybeans.
"With the increase in fertilizer and fuel prices over the winter, there's been a lot of concern about the cost of producing both corn and soybeans," said agricultural statistician Gene Danesky.
A survey of Missouri farmers shows they're planting 300,000 more acres of soybeans this year, which can help ease gas pains.
"Whenever they do make soybean meal out of soybeans, you have soy oil. And that soy oil typically goes towards the vegetable oil industry, or it can also be refined into biodiesel," said Forck, who uses biodiesel oil to run his farm machinery.