Meat and Poultry Exports Ship Profits to U.S. Soybean Farmers

ST. LOUIS (May 10, 2016) – The importance of poultry and livestock to soybean farmers is well documented. What may not be as well-known are the benefits for soybean farmers when U.S. meat, milk and eggs are exported. As human demand for protein grows globally, so do the opportunities for U.S. soybean farmers.

According to a soy checkoff-funded study, 40.1 million tons of soybean meal, or the meal from 1.6 billion bushels of U.S. soybeans, were exported as meat and poultry between the 2005 and 2015 marketing years. This was worth $13.8 billion to the U.S. soybean industry. In particular, exports of chicken meat and pork were worth $6.4 billion and $5.5 billion, respectively.

“As a soybean farmer, it’s important to understand that when demand grows for livestock, our demand grows as well,” says Dan Corcoran, a soy checkoff farmer-leader from Ohio. “Exporting meat and poultry extends the market for our soybeans and benefits the U.S. economy all at the same time.”

Continued collaboration with the meat and poultry industries is important to farmers’ bottom lines. According to future projections from the study, 58.1 million tons of soybean meal will be fed to animals that will be exported as meat and poultry over the next 12 years. This will be worth $18.9 billion to the U.S. soybean industry.

U.S. animal ag consumes 97 percent of the domestic supply of soybean meal, making it the most important end user of U.S. soy. The checkoff works with organizations such as the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council to promote consumption of U.S. meat and poultry abroad.

The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soybean meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

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