Connectivity, infrastructure, and sustainability are tied to U.S. soybean competitiveness

The competitiveness of the U.S. soybean industry is tied to sustainability, connectivity, and infrastructure, according to the CEOs of the United Soybean Board, American Soybean Association, and U.S. Soybean Export Council.

USSEC’s Jim Sutter says rural broadband is key to demonstrating the sustainability of soybean growers.

“To have the data that we can produce more on the same amount of land, and we can do it in ways perhaps with less fertilizer, less erosion, and those kinds of things,” he says. “But, all of this is dependent upon having the technology for our farmers to be able to use.”

USB’s Polly Ruhland says “If you’re really interested in sustainability, then you’re interested in infrastructure and connectivity because the way farmers get more sustainable is to gather data, analyze data, and make more sustainable decisions about their land. If we can’t have that connectivity in the field and we can’t have high speed even in the on-farm offices to analyze the data and make real-time decisions then our sustainability efforts are hampered.”

ASA’s Steve Censky says investments in U.S. infrastructure are needed because competitors aren’t standing still.  

“In Brazil, for example, the BR-163 Highway from Mato Grosso to the ports on the Amazon that used to be a dirt road and take weeks to travel is completely paved now and routinely, consistently takes 36 hours to make the trip now,” he says. “…There are a lot of plans and financing taking place and they have been making those investments and we need to too.”

The three soybean leaders spoke on a panel Wednesday during the United Soybean Board meeting.  

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