Farmer investments in international markets produced strong results in the 2016-17 marketing year.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. soybean farmers exported a record 2.6 billion bu. of domestic soybeans and soy products valued at more than $28 billion in 2016-17. It marked the second year in a row that exports exceeded 60% of total U.S. soybean production, the United Soybean Board (USB) pointed out.
However, USB said record soybean production is no longer enough to ensure markets for U.S. soy.
“Soy production is growing worldwide, and end users have choices,” said Derek Haigwood, a soybean farmer from Newport, Ark., and director of both USB and the U.S. Soybean Export Council. “To position the U.S. as a preferred supplier, we need to differentiate our product and farming practices to customers around the world.”
Global economic growth is increasing the demand for soy products worldwide. To maintain and grow market share globally, the soy checkoff is making investments in areas where U.S. soybean farmers have the greatest opportunity to differentiate their product. More specifically, the checkoff is focused on growing sustainable soybeans that produce better-quality meal and oil for end users.
“While exports are rising, U.S. soybean farmers can take even more market share if we differentiate ourselves in the global marketplace,” Haigwood said. “Improvements to meal and oil will help us keep a strong foothold in these crucial overseas markets.”
USB’s 73 farmer-directors work every year on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. The volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy.