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Soy catches more value through aquaculture

New approval for U.S. aqua feed could increase demand for soybean meal.

Casting a wider net to increase soybean meal demand is paying off, according to the soy checkoff. The checkoff, along with the Soy Aquaculture Alliance and many others, has been working to open doors to increase soybean use in U.S. aqua feeds.

Following years of checkoff-funded research, the Association of American Feed Control Officials recently authorized a new definition for the use of synthetic taurine in fish feeds. Approving taurine from additional sources reduces the need to incorporate fish meal in feeds and allows for more inclusion of soy protein — a change that could directly affect farmers’ bottom lines, the soy checkoff said.

“Years ago, we recognized that taurine was a limiting factor to maximizing our share of a fast-growing market,” said United Soybean Board director Mike Beard, a soybean farmer from Frankfort, Ind. “This new approval opens up a significant part of the aquaculture diet for soy.”

Following this approval, farmers could start seeing added demand and the benefits it brings.

Soybean meal offers a high-quality, renewable protein source for many species of fish. This makes it an economical choice for fish feed manufacturers, the checkoff reported. The potential for increased soy demand in this market will have a direct impact on the return farmers receive for their soybeans at the elevator.

Demand for seafood is growing at a staggering rate. Identifying this opportunity years ago ensured that farmers would be able to begin capturing their share of value right along with it, the checkoff noted.

“This is a great example of the checkoff’s commitment to maximizing soybean farmers’ profitability,” Beard said. “We will see our efforts from this innovative investment in aquaculture pay off for years to come.”

The United Soybean Board’s 73 volunteer farmer-directors work on behalf of U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. They invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy.

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