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USB leaders approve investments aimed to increase profitability of soy growers

The 78 United Soybean Board farmer leaders have approved soy checkoff investments for 2022.

The directors approved a $78 million investment in 181 checkoff-funded projects during USB’s summer board meeting this week in Missouri.

Marketplace Action Team Chair Belinda Burrier says one of the priorities is “creating demand in the edible soy oil market and as far as being able to create a high market for some of the soy oil we already have on the market.”

For example, to expand the high oleic/low linolenic germplasm, USB investments are focused on building a foundation of material containing the four genes needed for those soybean varieties. USB says it provides a high-value, market-driven, and functional soybean oil, while offering a solution to trans-fats food labeling rules.

Burrier tells Brownfield USB is also focusing on the sustainability and transparency attributes of U.S. soy. USB is considering tracking progress against companies’ responsible sourcing commitments and identifying soy farmers aligned with their responsible sourcing goals.

“Different companies are trying to use more green and sustainable products so that’s where the farmer comes in because raising soybeans is definitely sustainable,” she says.

She tells Brownfield the programs will help increase the value of US soybeans and build demand.

“Every dollar we invest in the soy checkoff returns $12.34,” she says. “That comes to the farmer and that profit could be the difference of whether we stay in business or whether we have to go out.”

Projects are considered and reviewed based on alignment with the checkoff’s overall objectives for supply, marketplace, and demand across the target areas of soybean meal, oil, and sustainability. USB will invest up to $16.9 million in the Supply Action Team, $11.4 million in the Market Action Team, and $49.7 million in the Demand Action Team.

Polly Ruhland is the CEO of the organization.

“U.S. soybean farmers remain steadfast and resilient in their pursuit to produce sustainable, high-quality soybeans that are preferred by customers domestically and all over the world…this, in turn, raises the bar for everyone down the supply chain,” she says. “And like those farmers, the soy checkoff continues to…enhance the soybean components, chart new uses and new markets, and provide production research insights that bring value to the farm and increase farmer profitability.”

The USB July Board Meeting took place Wednesday and Thursday.

Audio: Belinda Burrier

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