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Soybean Export Council trying to grow demand for US Soybeans

Soybean Export Council trying to grow demand for US Soybeans
Soybean Export Council trying to grow demand for US Soybeans
2 days, 21 hours ago by Quincy Journal Staff

During the recently-completed See For Yourself Tour, sponsored by the United Soybean Board, 10 soybean farmers visited Shanghai, China to learn more about how their checkoff dollars are being used.

Paul Burke is the North Asia Regional Director for the US Soybean Export Council, which is a contractor for USB, working on trade issues in China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea. USSEC's job is to implement programs throughout the region that create a preference for US soy in the animal feed, aquaculture and human sectors in those four markets.

Burke said 30 percent of US soybeans are exported to those four countries.

It may seem that one of the biggest jobs for USSEC is education.

"I would say that we do perform a lot of what we would call technical training, where we transfer technology that's used in more modern, efficient agriculture practices and aquaculture practices to the marketplace so that those producers will be more efficient, more profitable and use more soy," Burke said. "To that extent, it's more about training and technical servicing than, I would say, education."

USSEC faces some challenges in promoting US soybeans in the North Asia market.

"Really, the biggest obstacle that we face is the fact that the global soybean trade trades and values soybeans and soybean meal based upon crude protein," Burke said. "It's been that way for 50 years, and it's a fixture in the global soybean trade to measure and value soy that way. The problem is that that's not what grows animals. What grows animals is amino acids."

US Soybeans contain higher amounts of amino acid than beans from other countries - including South America. Burke said USSEC is trying to get producers to demand soy based on an amino acid measurement, rather than crude protein.