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Soybean Checkoff Works to Grow Soybean New Uses

Soybean Checkoff Works to Grow Soybean New Uses

Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2009 8:01 pm

ST. LOUIS (April 28, 2009) – New uses for soybeans are being developed with help from the United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff. The checkoff works to develop new uses for U.S. soybeans by partnering with industry leaders such as Ford and researchers at major universities.

“It is better to have a million one-dollar customers than to have a single million-dollar customer,” says Marty Ross, USB director and soybean farmer from Delmar, Del.  

The numbers show that industrial uses for soybean oil continue to rise. During the 2007-2008 marketing year, nearly 80 million bushels of soybeans went to industrial uses. In the 2008-2009 marketing year, the oil from 93 million bushels will be put to use in all kinds of products.

Each year, many proposals focused on utilizing soybeans for new purposes are brought to the attention of USB. The soybean checkoff farmer-leaders review these proposals and decide which ones have the greatest potential to build ongoing demand.

“The USB farmer-leaders work with all willing parties in both the public and private sectors to get the word out about the benefits of using soy-based products,” says Ross.

Past success for the checkoff in the area of new uses include household names, such as the Ford Motor Company. A partnership between Ford and USB has resulted in the inclusion of soy foam in many Ford vehicles on the road today, including the Mustang, F-150, Focus and Lincoln MKS.

“The partnership established between the soybean checkoff and Ford Motor Company has been incredibly productive and exciting,” says Dr. Debbie Mielewski, technical leader of Ford’s Plastics Group. “We will continue to work diligently to increase the applications for soy both within and outside of the automotive industry.”

In addition to USB’s work with the auto industry, the checkoff farmer-leaders know that nearly every industry has the opportunity to utilize the versatile soybean in some manner. USB helps develop soy technology in the areas of plastics, lubricants, adhesives, coatings, printing inks, solvents and other emerging industrial opportunities.

“All new products are important because each one adds an additional customer and broadens base demand,” says Ross. “With the increase in the value of soybean oil relative to meal, we are now in a position to explore new and enhanced soybean meal uses in addition to oil as a way to further grow demand.”

USB is made up of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

Posted 4.30.09