The newly elected leaders of the soybean checkoff are focusing on improving the quality of US soybean meal. United Soybean Board chairman Bob Hazelwood says one of his top priorities for the coming year is looking at ways of improving the quality of US soybean meal. He said the real challenge is figuring out what exactly the customer wants, “Some of them say we need higher protein; but others say, even though our protein is low, we provide good returns in certain situations; and still others say we need more energy in our meal.” He told a teleconference on Friday that figuring out how to improve soymeal will be a project of the checkoff in the coming year.
In addition to figuring out what traits to emphasize in US meal, Hazelwood says the industry must begin to brand US meal to make it more recognizable on the world market, “We feel there is a competitive advantage to our meal now, but we want to look for ways to make it shine above the rest.”
USB Secretary Dwain L. Ford, from Kinmundy, Illinois, says another top priority for the checkoff is the support of the livestock industry which is facing some serious challenges from animal activists, “We understand the importance of animal agriculture here in the US, and we are investing checkoff dollars to support animal agriculture.” He added the livestock farmer is the No. 1 customer for the soybean farmer and, if there are no livestock farmers in the future, there would be no soybean farmers. USB officials estimate the checkoff will spend about $87 million dollars in 2015 addressing these priorities as well as promoting demand and funding research to improve the productivity and profitability of soybean farmers.