In that regard, the challenges from foreign competition already require America's farmers to be adaptable. That's especially true of U.S. soybean growers, who must watch production trends in two hemispheres ... one north and one south.
Planting is complete in most major soybean-producing states ... and plentiful rainfall in recent weeks is aiding crop development. Last year's crop was plagued by drought in many areas of Brazil. The dry conditions cut production and yields.
The latest survey by the farm consultancy Celeres indicates soybean acres in Brazil will be reduced by more than 6 percent this year. But the predicted output of roughly 2.15 billion bushels marks a 13.3 percent increase in production from last year -- that's more crop on fewer acres.
The only serious threat facing Brazil's soybean crop so far is the spread of soy rust, which has been reported in 80 municipalities in six states.