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Five trends impacting the future of the global soy market

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Last year, U.S. soybean farmers grew nearly one-third of the soybeans in the global market. To ensure U.S. Soy retains access to a quickly changing, consumer-driven market, five state soybean checkoff groups jointly funded an effort designed to help soybean farmers make smart and informed decisions that will increase opportunities for future success.

Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio joined together to conduct the Future State of Soy exercise that identified the most impactful trends for soy in the coming years.

“We uncovered five major trends that will impact the global soy market and U.S. soybean farmers in particular,” said Steve Pitstick, Chairman of the Illinois Soybean Association. “These trends help uncover how the global demand for soybeans will change over the course of the next several decades, giving farmers valuable insight now to make decisions that will better position them for the future.”

The five trends identified in the Future State of Soy exercise include:

  1. A rising focus on high-quality soybean oil and meal
  2. Changes in fuel demand, including alternative fuels and emerging fuel uses
  3. The rising need for protein given a growing global population — both in animal and plant form
  4. The increasing global competition for soy and how infrastructure can provide an impactful advantage
  5. Emerging and diversified revenue streams that will offer farmers more opportunities

“We know that every farmer and every farm is unique,” said Kyle Durham, Chairman of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. “Identifying these trends enables farmers to determine if their farm is set up to take advantage of one over another, or if it can support a multitude of changes to take advantage of several trends.”

The soybean checkoff will also use these trends as a litmus test when determining if future investments will result in strong returns for U.S. soybean farmers.

“The unique approach to this exercise really removed the bias some of us may have for segments of agriculture or part of the soybean supply chain,” said Robb Ewoldt, President of the Iowa Soybean Association. “For instance, the need for more protein doesn’t prioritize animal protein over plant protein. The fact is soy is in an enviable position to support both food segments. Both will be valuable markets for U.S. Soy in the future.”

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