The nation’s soybean checkoff is the organization that takes soy growers’ investments and works to expand existing markets and develop new markets for American beans and soy products. Bob Haselwood, United Soybean Board Treasurer and Implementation Task Force Team Lead says customers are getting more insistent on sustainability.
“Well the United Soybean Board always continues to develop new markets whether it’s in international markets or domestically through new uses,” he said. “We look for ways to help the profitability of the farmer, whether it be through new production techniques that would help produce more or produce beans more efficiently, and we also look at ways to produce things more sustainably. A lot of our customers are looking for a supply that they can say is sustainable and we’re trying to show them that U.S. soy is.”
U.S. soybean farmers are also working to reassure international customers of their ability to meet demand with high-quality soybeans. Growers harvested 3.05 billion bushels of soybeans last year and exported over half of that crop, but after the drought year some trading partners, particularly those in Asia, have concerns and questions about the U.S. supply, according to Sharon Covert with USB.
“We assured them while we might have not as many bushels per acre we were still going to be a reliable supplier and there would be a supply of soybeans. Year after year we provide a reliable supply and a quality supply and produce it in a sustainable manor.”
Covert is an Illinois soybean farmer and Chair of the United Soybean Board Customer Focus Action Team.
Haselwood told HAT recently that there are some new projects they’re working on, and one involving the rubber that hits the roads has exciting possibilities.
“One of the things that could be very beneficial to the U.S. soy farmer is that Goodyear has been looking at ways to substitute petroleum oil with soybean oil in their tire manufacturing process and at least that new use could mean a lot of consumption of soy oil.”
According to U.S. Census Bureau figures U.S. soybean farmers exported 1.3 billion bushels of whole soybeans, and the oil from 126.5 million bushels. Soy meal exports were derived from over 400 million bushels of beans, and Covert says United Soybean Board is looking to improve on that number.
The top customer for U.S. soybeans is China with 848.7 million bushels in purchases. Mexico is the United States’ top soy meal trading partner with 67.6 million bushels purchased. The top buyer of U.S. soy oil is Morocco with 30.4 million bushels worth. Exports this year are valued at more than 23 billion dollars.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2013/02/USB-update.mp3|titles=USB update]