As of Monday, only 3% of the Indiana soybean crop had been planted. This compared to the average of 14% at this point in May. Getting the rest of the crop in the ground will be critical for Indiana soybean growers and important for the Hoosier economy. It is estimated that over 5.1 million acres of soybeans will be planted in the state this spring, and getting the crop started will be needed to fuel the multibillion dollar soybean industry in the state. Mark Seib, an Indiana soybean farmer and member of the United Soybean Board, says last year Indiana producers grew over 264 billion bushels of soybeans, worth over $3 billion, “Indiana is the 4th largest soybean producing state in the nation, so we have a big responsibility to make sure we feed our industry.” Seib told HAT 97% of the Hoosier soybeans are used to feed the livestock industry, which in turn produces the meat we consume.
US soybean planted acreage is on the rise from 77 MA in 2012 to an expected 81.5 MA in 2014, which is a new record. Over a quarter of all the cropland in the US is planted to soybeans. While the majority of the soy protein is used for livestock production, Seib says, thanks to investment in the soybean checkoff, many new uses for soybeans have been found, “We are always looking for new uses for soybeans in areas we have never considered before.” He said one of the most promising new uses is in the foam that is used in automobile seats. Much of this new use innovation has taken place here in Indiana, thanks for investments made by Hoosier soybean farmers through their checkoff and through the innovative research being done at Purdue.