Harvest Your Beans; Demand is High

November 16, 2009 06:00 PM

Sara Schafer
, AgWeb Crops Online Editor

The long hours you've put in during soybean harvest this year should all be worth it, as soybean demand is up.
In the marketing year that just ended, the U.S. has exported more than 1.56 billion bushels soybeans, which is a 4% increase from the previous year, according to USDA.  
"This will be the third year in a row that we've surpassed the record for soybean and soybean product exports,” says Jim Call, United Soybean Board international marketing chair and a Minnesota soybean farmer. "It goes to show that we're doing a good job of marketing our products overseas.”
This continued high amount of exports keep soy as the leading U.S. agriculture export, valued at $15 billion.
China continues to be the best global customer for U.S. soybeans. The country imports about one out of every four rows that U.S. farmers produce, according to the United Soybean Board.
Help Raise Demand
The decisions farmers make about soybean varieties this coming year can have can help increase demand now and in the future with international customers, Call says.
"What farmers can do to help ensure the quality overseas is to look for varieties that are maybe just a smidgen higher in protein and oil when they look at their seed recommendations or what they're looking to plant next year,” Call says. "That would help out a lot because quality is a huge issue for overseas buyers. They want to see high-protein, high-oil levels, and that's something that local farmers can do.”
For More Information

You can e-mail Sara Schafer at sschafer@farmjournal.com.

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