ANKENY, Iowa — The multitude of uses and benefits of soybeans and the industry’s importance to the economic, social and environmental well-being of Iowa are touted via a proclamation signed this week by Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Soybean Month in Iowa, celebrated in August, brings attention to the versatile and valuable oilseed. From clean-burning biodiesel and feed for livestock, poultry and dairy to a popular ingredient in many foods and industrial products, uses derived from soybeans are nearly limitless.
“It’s a truly remarkable industry that continues to scale up, improve productivity, enhance its environmental footprint and bring new products to market,” says Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) President Jeff Jorgenson. “There has never been a more exciting time for the soybean industry than right now.”
Iowa farmers produced 494 million bushels of soybeans in 2020. That production is valued at more than $5.4 billion.
The variety of soy-based products provided by grocery retailers has also increased exponentially. Unlike most plants, soy contains all essential amino acids making it a complete protein and preferred by a growing number of health-minded shoppers.
“Protein plays an essential role in global nutrition, regardless if it’s animal- or protein-based consumption,” says Jorgenson who farms with his family near Sidney in southwest Iowa. “It’s rewarding to be part of an industry that provides a powerful source of nutrition to fuel our population and economic growth.”
Soybean meal constitutes a primary ingredient in livestock, poultry and fish feed. The product is utilized domestically and demanded by customers around the world including China, Pakistan, Philippines, Bangladesh, Mexico and Thailand. The oilseed is so popular globally that nearly 60% of U.S. soybean production is exported.
Iowa is among the nation’s leaders in soybean production. This output coincides with scaling up practices improving soil and water quality. ISA has played a critical role in progress toward achieving Iowa’s nutrient reduction strategy. It works directly with hundreds of farmers and cooperatively with numerous local, state and national partners to deploy more conservation practices on more acres. These practices include the use of cover crops, manure management, controlled drainage, reduced tillage, buffer and saturated buffers and prescriptive planting, fertilization and pest management.
ISA will celebrate Soybean Month by:
- Promoting the many products and uses derived from soybeans through special events and promotions including renewing ISA’s sponsorship of the biodiesel-powered trams at the Iowa State Fair and team buses for the University of Iowa and Iowa State University;
- Celebrating significant events and discoveries involving soybeans and ISA courtesy of the association’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter @iowasoybeans and Instagram);
- Sponsoring the soybean stop at Little Hands on the Farm at the Iowa State Fair Aug. 12-22;
- Featuring trivia posted on the association’s Facebook page, along with the chance to win a variety of prizes; and
- Meeting with soybean farmers at district meetings held throughout Iowa;
— Iowa Soybean Association
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