Recent attention has focused on delayed soybean plantings caused by wet weather, leading to the potential for large prevented planted acres. Much of this attention focuses on Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Farm Service Agency (FSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reports prevented planted acres. FSA generates these acres from acreage reports provided by farmers and landowners. From 1996 to 2014, the average prevented planted acres were 4,050,000 acres Soybeans averaged 759,000 acres, representing 19 percent of total prevented planting acres.

Soybean prevented planted acres vary by year. Years with low prevented planted acres were in 2012 (158,000 acres), 1997 (225,000 acres), and 2006 (230,000 acres). Four years had prevented planting over 1,000,000 acres: 2001 (1,220,000 acres), 2010 (1,381,000 acre), 2011 (1,441,000 acres), and 2013 (1,697,000 acres). The highest number of prevented planting acres was that 2013 number of 1,697,000 acres.

Not all states contribute equally to prevented plantings. Examples of states with large numbers of prevented planted acres as noted here:

  • 2001: South Dakota (359,000 acres), Minnesota (222,000 acres), North Dakota (155,000 acres), and Missouri (144,000 acres).
  • 2010: South Dakota (458,000 acres), North Dakota (334,000 acres), and Missouri (202,000 acres).
  • 2011: North Dakota (476,000 acres), South Dakota (367,000 acres), and Illinois (156,000 acres).
  • 2013: North Dakota (442,000 acres), Minnesota (210,000 acres), and North Carolina (149,000 acres).

Three states in the upper Midwest typically have relatively large numbers of prevented planted acres: South Dakota (158,000 acre average for 1996-2014), North Dakota (154,000 acres average) and Minnesota (71,000 acres average). The next state contributing the most prevented planted acres is Missouri (57,000 acres).

Implications for 2015

USDA’s planting progress reports indicate that 2015 plantings are nearing completion in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota, the traditional area where prevented planted acres are high. These states likely will have lower than average prevented planted acres.

On the other hand, soybeans plantings are notably behind in Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. Missouri appears to be the epicenter of late plantings. On June 21, USDA reported that only 51 percent of soybean acres were planted. Missouri was projected to plant 5,650,000 acres in 2015, suggesting that roughly 2,500,000 acres remained to be planted in Missouri.

From 1996 to 2014, Missouri’s highest prevented plantings for soybeans were 202,000 acres in 2010. In 2010 in Missouri, 90 percent of soybeans were reported as planted by National Agricultural Statistical Service by week 25 of the year (near June 21). The next highest prevented soybean planed acres were 182,000 in 2008, followed by 144,000 in 2001. Percent planted by week 25 was 66 percent in 2008 and 79 percent in 2001.

The 51 percent of soybeans planted in Missouri by week 25 is below the lowest observation of 66 percent from 1996 to 2014, suggesting that a large number of acres will be prevented from planting in Missouri. However, soybeans can be planted quickly if weather patterns change (Rain has hit the state extensively since June 21).

As a matter of perspective, the highest prevented planted soybeans acres in any state from 1996 to 2014 were 476,000 acres (North Dakota in 2011). Having over 500,000 prevented planted soybean acres in any state has not been observed since 1996. Having over 1,000,000 acres would be an extreme outlier.


A large number of soybean acres likely will be prevented planted in 2015. Of course, the exact amount of prevented planting will be determined by weather going forward. Planting progress in Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina will determine how large prevented planted acres for soybeans will be in 2015. Much of the attention is focusing on Missouri.