FARGO — The high quality and consistency of the corn and soybeans grown in the United States and the efficiency of the country’s transportation systems are advantages in exporting the crop, representatives of national commodity organizations told farmers at the Northern Corn and Soybean Expo on Tuesday, Feb. 6.
Rozalind “Roz” Leeck, U.S. Soybean Export Council executive director for market access and strategy and northeast Asia director, and Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council vice president, talked about the outlook for corn and soybean trade at the annual event.
Foreign buyers will pay a premium for U.S. soybeans because of their superior quality, Sifferath said.
“As the customers say ‘The animals don’t lie,’” he said.
The demand for soybean oil that has resulted in the construction of
including two in North Dakota — has meant increased demand for soybean meal, Leeck said,
“You’re seeing the demand for soybean meal in the United States the highest in the last decade, she said
In the past, there was demand for U.S. soybean meal, but there wasn’t product available to meet that demand, Leeck said.
Meanwhile, though corn exports to China have slowed in the past couple of years, they remain strong, Sifferath said.
“It’s still a large and very important market,’’ he said,
Determining why China has not been as active in the soybean export market — it has purchased from 7 to 9 million metric tons less soybeans this marketing year than last — is difficult, Leeck said.
“If anybody says they know what’s driving that, they’re lying,” she said.
However, on the positive side, the soybeans that China does purchase are placed in the state reserve because they are higher quality than any other country’s soybeans, Sifferath said.
Besides trade, another important issue that will affect the soybean and corn industries is the
It is important that farmers voice their ideas and concerns about farm bill provisions to their congressional representatives, said Christy Seyfert, American Soybean Association government affairs executive director.
One way to do that is through “fly-ins,” in which members of commodity organizations travel to Washington D.C. to visit with congressional representatives and their staffs about the policy issues facing growers.
“It’s something that is extremely effective,” she said.
While lobbyists, such as herself, can work on the policy issues, congressional representatives want to hear from the farmers who are growing the crops, Seyfert said.
If farmers don’t want to travel to Washington D.C., they can get their message across to lawmakers by attending events such as town hall meetings, she said.
Farmers do not have to hold an office in a commodity organization to deliver a message to policy makers, said Wayne Stoskopf, National Corn Growers Association public policy director.
“You don’t have to be president of the North Dakota Corn Growers,” he said.
What is important is that farmers make their voices heard and give first-hand information about the way they raise their commodities.
Farmers can get the word out about how they produce corn and soybeans without even leaving their farms.
“Use social media,” Seyfert said.” It’s a great way to get the message out.”
Ann is a journalism veteran with nearly 40 years of reporting and editing experiences on a variety of topics including agriculture and business. Story ideas or questions can be sent to Ann by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at: 218-779-8093.
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