JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Last year, U.S. soybean farmers grew nearly one-third of the soybeans in the global market. To ensure U.S. Soy retains access to a quickly changing, consumer-driven market, five state soybean checkoff groups jointly funded an effort designed to help soybean farmers make smart and informed decisions that will increase opportunities for future success. Missouri Soybeans joined soybean checkoffs from the states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to conduct the Future State of Soy exercise that identified the most impactful trends for soy in the coming years.
“We uncovered five major trends that will impact the global soy market and U.S. soybean farmers in particular,” said Steve Pitstick, Chairman of the Illinois Soybean Association. “These trends help uncover how the global demand for soybeans will change over the course of the next several decades, giving farmers valuable insight now to make decisions that will better position them for the future.”
The five trends identified in the Future State of Soy exercise include:
- A rising focus on high-quality soybean oil and meal
- Changes in fuel demand, including alternative fuels and emerging fuel uses
- The rising need for protein given a growing global population – both in animal and plant form
- The increasing global competition for soy and how infrastructure can provide an impactful advantage
- Emerging and diversified revenue streams that will offer farmers more opportunities
“We know that every farmer and every farm is unique,” said Kyle Durham, Chairman of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. “Identifying these trends enables farmers to determine if their farm is set up to take advantage of one over another, or if it can support a multitude of changes to take advantage of several trends.”
“The ultimate purpose for this exercise is to help farmers navigate changes now so they are set up for the future of this industry,” said Jeff Magyar, Chairman of the Ohio Soybean Council. “Proactively addressing how the market is shifting means we won’t be left scrambling to meet market demands later, which will keep U.S. Soy in high demand around the world.”
The soybean checkoff is already investing in several programs at both the national and state levels to find new markets, new uses and new characteristics of soybeans that will align with these five trends. The soybean checkoff will also use these trends as a litmus test when determining if future investments will result in strong returns for U.S. soybean farmers.
Missouri Soybeans has a rich history in investing in innovative research projects that aid the future farmer. The organization will continue to devote time and research to SOYLEIC® soybeans, biodiesel, soy-based protein and infrastructure. As the soybean checkoff continues to position U.S. Soy for the future, this work will help influence how the world perceives the value of domestic soy and soy products.
“The unique approach to this exercise really removed the bias some of us may have for segments of agriculture or part of the soybean supply chain,” said Robb Ewoldt, President of the Iowa Soybean Association. “For instance, the need for more protein doesn’t prioritize animal protein over plant protein. The fact is soy is in an enviable position to support both food segments. Both will be valuable markets for U.S. Soy in the future.”
— Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council