The national loan rates set by the 2002 farm bill are $1.95 for corn ... and $5.00 for soybeans.
Producers use the loan rates to help determine their marketing strategies ... a process that's becoming more complex because of the global influence of crop production in places like Brazil.
Brazil now places its soybean projection at 63.43 million tons. That's more than 2.3 billion bushels ... and a 29 percent increase over last year's harvest.
Officials credit the larger crop to better weather, as well as improved crop conditions. They also note that soybean planting increased by 6 percent this year to 56.5 million acres.
The prospects for a sizable Brazilian crop are pressuring soybean prices. Nearby futures prices are hovering at contract lows ... and private estimates that Brazilian farmers have sold only 27 percent of the new crop are fueling the bear market. Things could get worse before they get better, as many traders believe a lack of storage will force South American farmers into selling the new crop at depressed prices.