Georgia Soybean Growers Optimistic This Season

Pelham, GA

Even though corn, cotton and peanuts receive most of the attention here in Georgia, there is another crop that’s seen a major uptick in planted acres over the past couple of years. While it might still be early on for soybean growers, so far, they have no complaints.

“Planting season went well. We had a rain come through and we were able to get the all of the beans in the ground in a couple of days,” says Walter Godwin, Owner of Godwin Farms. They’re calling for some dry weather. So, as long as we get a couple of rains here and there, I think we’ll have a good year.”

With prices approaching fifteen dollars a bushel, it’s no wonder more growers are considering soybeans as a viable option. Plus, they do grow pretty well here in the state.

“I enjoy growing soybeans. They’re not really a crop you see in Georgia a lot, but it’s kind of an alternative crop. If you don’t want to grow cotton or if your peanuts are limited, you could throw soybeans in the rotation,” says Godwin. “We grow a group seven bean, which is a later maturing bean, but we can have irrigated yields in the seventies and dry land yields in the seventies. It just depends on the rain.”

Just like with any other crop, it’s a delicate balancing act between controlling costs and using the proper amount of chemicals and fertilizer. Fortunately, it this year, hasn’t been quite as big a problem.

“If you don’t use the inputs, you’re not going to grow a crop. So, you got to have the inputs. You got to have the fertilizer. You got to have the chemicals, the preemergence, the postemergence chemicals to grow the crop. Input prices have come down a little since last year. We saw fertilizer come down from November of last year to March of this year a fair amount. Chemical prices have come down a little bit. They’re still hovering about the same as they were last year. Then there’s your Roundup, which has come down a whole lot since last year,” says Godwin.

If the increased market price and yield potential weren’t enough incentive, the timing of soybeans also provides a benefit for farmers as it gives them a source of income after most of the other major row crops have been harvested.

“To me, they’re an easy crop to grow, says Godwin. “They’re not a high input like peanuts or cotton is. They usually come off, well, they come off at the end of the year. So, we’re harvesting usually in October, November. We’re done with peanuts at that time. So, it kind of spreads our harvest season out a little bit so we’re not so rushed, and soybeans can go into your rotation and give you something else to grow that you might have more of an income off of.”

By: Damon Jones