Soybean Seed Costs Have Risen Sharply Since 1997

The Economic Research Service reports that the cost of soybean seeds per acre has risen more than 260 percent since 1997, while total soybean production costs have risen 157 percent.

“In 1997, U.S. farmers spent an average of $19.72 per acre on soybean seeds,” the ERS report says. “That expense rose by more than 260 percent by 2023 when U.S. farmers were spending $71.03 per acre on soybean seeds.”

The agency says much of the cost increases occurred between 1997 and 2010 when seed costs increased by 200 percent. Much of the cost increase for soybean seeds came about because of technological advancements, including changes to planting methods, seeding technologies, and seed quality. “

In the mid-1990s, seed companies began selling genetically engineered soybean seeds to farmers,” the report adds. “Regional adoption rates in 1997 were between eight and 21 percent, and by 2002, rates jumped from 60 to 96 percent.”

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