Soybeans Overtake Wheat on ND Farms

Mohall, ND - Farmers planted a record number of soybean acres in North Dakota in the spring.
And now, they're bringing in the crop.

Jim Olson travels to western Bottineau County to see how the crop is shaping up.

"Just finishing up soybeans."

Thurstan and Trent Johnson are making their final passes in their combines this week - clearing this huge stand of soybeans

"This is probably our best stuff."

Their "best stuff" is showing only about average yields, but that should still add up to a profit out of this crop for the brothers who planted soybeans for the first time ever this year.

"This is kind of a high demand for soybeans around the world so it's something a guy can, you know,take a combine, get rid of right away, get them to the elevator right away and make a little profit."

They also like that there are very few diseases to reduce yields or prices

"We're putting a few in the bin, but most of it's going right to the elevator and that's going to be our probably our income for a lot of the year, right on these soybeans."

It's the same story across the state - soybean acres are up 20% in North Dakota this year to a record level, while other crops are being largely ignored.

"Barley used to be a big crop for us, we didn't do any this year.  That's the first time in I think, we've never had any barley in."

That means more than three thousand acres of Johnson land went instead to soybeans this year - and Thurstan says the trend is likely to continue

"We just kind of raise whatever is, whatever we're going to make a profit on, you know, right, we're not, if it's not going to pencil out,we usually don't put it in, I guess."

That's good incentive for many farmers to switch lots of North Dakota farmland to soybeans. North of Mohall, Jim Olson, KX News.

The USDA estimates farmers in the state planted over seven million acres of soybeans this year - and only about 6-and-a-half million acres of wheat.


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