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U.S. Soybean Farmers See Demand-Building Investments

Aug 18, 2017
See for Yourself program offers farmers an in-depth look at soy checkoff work

ST. LOUIS (August 18, 2017) – Demand drives profitability, and the checkoff aims to build soybean demand in both domestic and international markets. There are several areas of opportunity that offer an optimistic outlook for soybean demand. U.S. soybean farmers were able to see some of the domestic demand-building opportunities through the soy checkoff’s 2017 See for Yourself (SFY) program from Aug. 7-11.

“Being able to see firsthand some of the ways my soybeans are used was a unique experience,” said Nathan White, a Missouri soybean farmer and SFY participant. “The SFY program gave me an opportunity to meet some of my end users and witness all the different ways U.S. soy is being promoted right in my backyard.”

Participants kicked off the program with the opportunity to tour a biodiesel facility, Mid-America Biofuels. Through investments from the soy checkoff, U.S. soybean farmers helped establish the biodiesel industry. Using more than 5.5 billion pounds of U.S. soybean oil in 2015, the biodiesel industry is a significant customer for U.S. soybean farmers and accounts for more than a quarter of all soybean oil used domestically. Biodiesel is an important investment for farmer checkoff dollars because as the biodiesel industry advances, so do demand opportunities for U.S. soybean oil.

High oleic soybeans give the U.S. soy industry an opportunity to win back market share and increase demand from end users looking for an oil that performs under high-heat conditions. Participants were able to learn more about the checkoff’s work with other industry organizations while touring a DuPont Pioneer facility. High oleic soybeans add to farmer profit opportunities by offering premium prices without a significant change to their production practices. The soy checkoff will continue to invest and build demand for high oleic soybeans because it fills a need for the No. 1 oil market – food.

The development of new soy-based products diversifies demand. Creating more end uses for soybeans will continue to build demand for U.S. soy and maximize profit opportunities for farmers. Participants saw this firsthand at the John Deere® assembly plant. John Deere® uses soy-based, sheet-molding compound for their HarvestForm™ tractor and combine. The soy checkoff continues to partner with private companies to produce soy-based products and ingredients, increasing demand of U.S. soy in non-food uses.

“The checkoff works around the world on behalf of U.S. soybean farmers, but we also do a lot domestically,” said Jimmy Sneed, Mississippi soybean farmer and United Soybean Board’s Audit & Evaluation Committee chair. “This year’s program was an opportunity to have our participants see and understand the checkoff’s domestic footprint and all that happens right in their own backyards. I think the farmers not only saw activities demonstrating how the checkoff works to develop profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers right now, but they also learned how the checkoff is looking to the future to stay in front of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

USB’s 73 farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

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