More than 70 percent of the soybeans grown in the U.S. are consumed by poultry, hogs, dairy, and beef.
However, aquaculture is also benefiting from being fed U.S. soy here and abroad.
“A large majority of our exports for U.S. soy ends up in feed, and there’s aquaculture production in all major regions of the world, especially Asia,” says Courtney Knupp, director of animal and aquaculture nutrition meal at U.S. Soybean Export Council. “U.S. soy is a great protein and nutrient source in the diet for multiple species.”
She says traditionally, those protein sources came from fish meal and oils, which is not sustainable.
“U.S. soy is [sustainable] because it’s available all-year round and provides the essential amino acids that are highly digestible,” says Knupp. “It’s the protein source in the diet. Sometimes up to 30 percent of our ration for fish is U.S. soy.”
The U.S. Soybean Export Council is trying to take that story of sustainable soy to other markets.
“When we look to diversify U.S. soy versus soy of other origins, sustainability is a key component where we shine versus South American origin,” says Knupp. “We’re able to certify product which is a requirement in major production systems throughout the value chain. That’s huge for U.S. soy and why we are chosen as a preference over other origins.”
Knupp says there’s ample opportunity for U.S. soy in export for human or animal consumption.
“That’s why U.S. soy is so well-positioned in many markets, and diversification is important—it’s a key value driver.”