News: General News
As the planting season ends, growers are reminded that pesticide treated seeds in grain shipments must the prevented. Because many countries that import U.S. soy have very strict rules forbidding the presence of any treated seed in commodity soybean shipments arriving at its ports, U.S. laws governing what must be done by farmers for proper and legal disposition of treated seeds remaining on farm after the planting season is over must be followed.
Because U.S. farmer compliance is critical to avoid disruption of U.S. soybean exports to overseas markets, disposal recommendations were included in the “Treated Seed Disposal” section of the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship website of the Center for Integrated Pest Management:
The best way to dispose of a small quantity of leftover seed that has been treated with a pesticide is to plant it in fallow or other non-cropped areas of the farm.
Other possible options include:
- Disposal in an approved municipal landfill (only permitted in some states; plus permits may be required).
- Use as a fuel source for electrical power plants or cement kilns.
- High temperature incineration by a waste management facility.
- Fermentation in an alcohol-producing process at an ethanol plant (but then the ethanol plant’s resultant mash or distillers grains must not be used as feed).
However, the farmer must first contact the specific facility to determine if it can accept pesticide-treated seed. For disposal of large quantities of leftover treated seed, the farmer must contact the pesticide manufacturer if the farmer needs more information. If the seed treatment was applied by the seed company, the farmer should contact the seed company.
More information is available at https://pesticidestewardship.org/disposal/Pages/treatedseeddisposal.aspx.
On March 13 – 15, USSEC participated in the Expo ANTAD trade show in Guadalajara in order to promote soybean products. USSEC consultants Jorge Martinez, Nayeli Vilanova and Pedro Gonzalez represented the interests of U.S. soy at the event, which is the major trade show for the retail segment in Mexico and Latin America. This year saw participation by 2,200 exhibitor companies from 30 countries.
More than 20 soybean products were exhibited and promoted through the USSEC booth, including soybean oils, soy milks, soybean texturized protein foods, snacks and tofu manufactured by eleven companies that consume U.S. soybeans and soybean oil in the Americas Region. USSEC consultants assisted the companies represented to exhibit and promote their products and more than 40 new commercial contacts were made. As a result of their participation in this trade show, one U.S. soybean oil manufacturer is negotiating to sell a container per month of bottled soybean oil to Dominican Republic and one U.S. texturized protein foods manufacturer was accepted in the suppliers development program of the biggest retailer in Mexico.
USSEC is confident that Expo ANTAD trade show was successful in increasing the sales of the soybean products of the American participant companies and the overall consumption of U.S. soybeans and soybean oil.
USSEC consultants Pedro Gonzalez and Alejandro Cota conducted focus group sessions in the four Mexican cities of Mérida, Villahermosa, Guadalajara and Hermosillo to determine the consumer perspective of a particular brand of soybean oil in order to improve marketing strategies promoting this oil and increase its sales. The brand is produced by a major importer of U.S. soybeans in the Americas Region and imports about 600,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybeans each year.
The information obtained from the focus group sessions confirmed that consumers want a more appealing and informative label, with a more attractive design and colors and including nutritional information. Mr. Gonzalez and Mr. Cota recommended that the soybean oil producer include two or three healthy claims on the bottle labels. Such claims could include the addition of Omega 3 and Omega 6, the inclusion of Vitamin E, low saturated fatty acids profile, et al.
The soybean oil producer will introduce the recommended improvements to the product packaging by changing the colors and graphic design of the label. The producer will also evaluate which of the recommended claims has the greatest impact among consumers and will redesign the label accordingly. With these improvements, the image of this soybean oil brand is expected to improve and its sales to increase.
USSEC staff attended ASA’s Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C. this week where ASA members spearheaded ASA’s strategic plan on a wide range of issues affecting soybean farmers nationwide. ASA leaders and staff discussed critical policy matters including the farm bill, crop insurance, transportation infrastructure and trade.
The Executive Committee met Sunday, while ASA’s Membership & Corporate Relations, Public Affairs, and Trade Policy & International Affairs Committees met Monday morning to establish strategic plans and next steps forward within their respective areas.
The general session convened that afternoon with committee reports, as well as an update from ASA CEO Steve Censky and United Soybean Board past-President Marc Curtis.
On Tuesday, ASA’s members took to Capitol Hill, meeting with legislators and staff in both the House and Senate to discuss the policy priorities of the soybean industry.
The general session reconvened on Wednesday, when farmer-leaders reported on their Hill visits, followed by meetings of ASA’s Finance, SoyPAC, Communications, Investment and World Initiative for Soy in Human Health Committees. ASA Action Partnership members also met Wednesday afternoon.
A group of 19 farmers from the United Soybean Board (USB) and the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) Trade Policy and International Affairs (TPIA) Committee gathered in Washington, D.C. March 14 to review and approve USSEC’s global export promotion objectives for 2013. Other stakeholders including USSEC members and Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs) also attended the planning meeting.
Staff presented proposed strategies and project outlines for the coming year to get feedback from the farmers about the strategic approach and tactics planned. The joint audience was made up of grower leaders from the TPIA Committee and USB’s four Action Team chairs and International Opportunities Target Area Coordinator. The group voted unanimously to approve the plan. USSEC staff will work over the next two months to finalize the details of the project proposals.
Many of the proposals considered will be incorporated into the 2014 Unified Export Strategy (UES) application for USDA market development funds. The USDA programs are designed to complement privately-funded international marketing and market access activities undertaken by U.S. agricultural organizations. The funding is allocated on a competitive basis and USDA will consider applications from more than 80 program participants to win a share of more than $250 million that is normally available for the program. The USDA application deadline will be officially established through a Federal Register notice in the coming weeks, but the deadline routinely falls between mid May to early June.
ASA is the official USDA program participant and the TPIA Committee directs funding decisions for those program dollars. The TPIA Committee will approve the final slate of projects before the UES application is submitted to USDA. Similarly, USB’s four Action Teams determine how to invest national checkoff dollars in international programs. USB will set an overall international investment allocation in the coming weeks which will be included in the funding application to USDA in order to demonstrate the level of industry matching funds. Last year, the national and state checkoffs contributed 23.5 million to international programs representing more than 200% of the USDA investment.
The first Vessel Comparison Study (VCS) was conducted at Tacoma Export Marketing Company (TEMCO) in the Seattle/Tacoma, Washington area from February 22-March 2, 2013. This study is the implementation of the memo of understanding, signed in 2010, on soybean inspection and quarantine cooperation between China’s Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
A group of five Chinese inspectors, six industry representatives and three USDA / Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS), Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) officers participated in this study by jointly identifying the vessel, probing soybeans for samples and conducting surface inspections on selected holds. Teams worked tirelessly despite rainy weather disrupting loading operations and other scheduled activities. U.S. and Chinese participants worked together to complete the tasks as stated in the implementing protocol agreed upon by both countries.
The U.S. soybean industry anticipates that the conduction of this study will highlight differences, help find solutions and that appropriate measures will be taken to address the concerns of both countries. Soybean trade relations between the U.S. and China should be further strengthened, with China continuing to be the biggest importer for the U.S. soybean industry. Key participants representing the related agencies in both countries made presentations on the U.S. and Chinese inspection systems in addition to discussions that were held to build confidence in soybean inspection and quarantine systems in the U.S. and China in order to better understand the standard practice in sampling, grading and testing the soybeans at the loading port in U.S. and the discharging port in China.
Mark Andersen, USSEC Industry Relations Director, made a presentation to the Chinese team detailing USSEC’s role in the U.S. soybean industry and the commitments made to its partners in China. Zhang Xiaoping, USSEC China Country Director, escorted the team on this trip to facilitate the communications between Chinese and U.S. government officers and the industry representatives to ensure that this mission was a success that will benefit both countries’ industries.
The group will meet again in China when the soybean carrying vessel Lady Maritearrives there to complete the sampling and testing for the first vessel comparison study.
USSEC Technical Issues Director Kim Nill accompanied USB Director Doug Winter to the World Biofuels Congress in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where Mr. Winter delivered a presentation explaining how U.S.-origin soybeans are sustainably produced. Mr. Winter also explained how the upcoming USSEC sustainability assurance protocol will provide certification of sustainability for customers in markets requiring same.
The 8th annual World Biofuels Congress was held at the Beurs-World Trade Center in Rotterdam from March 12-14, 2013 and is described as the “largest and most successful Congress and Exhibition in the biofuels industry.” Over 260 speakers discussed the various aspects of the biofuels industry during the interactive sessions. Topics included finance, aviation, advanced biofuels, emerging markets, biorefinery platforms, biodiesel and sustainable agriculture.
USSEC provided technical assistance on the utilization of soybean meal (SBM) to Daebong LF, an aqua feed mill in Jeju, South Korea. Daebong is currently evaluating the quality of SBM by origin and processing conditions with its primary focus on the relationship of the anti-nutritional factors and fish performances. This is a preliminary step toward gradually increasing the use of soy in their products.
USSEC Aquaculture Utilization contractor In Soo Shin provided information and data on the types, concentrations and properties of the anti-nutritional factors present in SBM and shared effective methods with which to reduce or remove them. Daebong is one of five key feed mills that supply soy-mixed EP feed to 56 target flounder growers who enrolled in the Korean government’s program to shift the aqua feed market from fish-based feed to protein meal-based feed.
Mark Andersen, USSEC Industry Relations Director, attended the Virginia Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade in Richmond, Virginia on March 7th and 8th, 2013.
In 2012, Virginia increased its exports to reach $2.6 billion, a 12% increase over the previous year. Soy remains Virginia’s number one export and a significant contributor to the overall increase in the state’s exports. Virginia’s top exported products are soybeans ($734 million), followed by soybean meal ($345 million), with wood products in third place ($217 million). Soybean oil was a notable sixth on Virginia’s export list at $143 million. The Perdue company’s Norfolk, VA-based soy operation is a significant exporter.
China was the number one importer of Virginia products followed by Mexico, Morocco, Switzerland and Turkey. Considerable importance is being put on the increased capacity of the Panama Canal. The expanded canal is scheduled to open in 2014 and is expected to further boost exports.
USSEC Korea provided technical assistance to Korean feed mills that received shipments of U.S. soybean meal in January. The two Panamax loads and one combination shipment were contracted between Korea Feed Association member feed mills and ADM last September.
The feed mills are using or are about to use the U.S. soybean meal in their feed formulation. USSEC Korea’s animal utilization technical director shared nutritional recommendations to the feed mill staff based on the data provided in USSEC’s whitepaper, “The Nutritional Value of U.S. Soybean Meal”. So that the staff would most effectively use U.S. soybean meal in their feed formulation, USSEC compared the digestible amino acids and energy in U.S. soybean meal with competing soybean meals from different origins.
USSEC will continue to support Korean buyers of U.S. soybean meal.
USSEC introduced the new USSEC Middle East/North Africa (MENA) and Asia Subcontinent (ASC) regional structure at a commercial conference held at the Hyatt Regency Dubai in Dubai, UAE on December 12-13, 2012. This event marked the first time that USSEC has brought together a large group of soy protein commercial decision makers from this region. The conference provided a regional forum to connect USSEC leadership and team members, represented by U.S. trade and industry representatives, U.S. grower leaders, regional FAS leaders and regional soy protein commercial leaders and influencers.
The USSEC Commercial Conference was covered by Poultry Middle East and North Africa Magazine. Poultry Middle East and North Africa Magazine, started in 1979, is the only Arabic magazine of its kind, covering agriculture and farming in the Middle East and North African region. This respected technical science magazine is published every three months with a circulation of 26,000.
Richard Fritz, the Executive Director of the Food and Agriculture Export Alliance, will be testifying in Washington, D. C. to the House Ways and Means Committee about the growing role of India in global agriculture trade. USSEC is a founding member of the Food and Agriculture Export Alliance.
Mr. Fritz will be sharing how India is positioning itself to become a more active player in agricultural trade as the country faces growth in demand for aquaculture, poultry and human demand for soy feed and food. USSEC programming has established critical baselines which will serve as the building blocks for the increased usage of domestic protein, ultimately reducing exports of soy protein and driving the in-country domestic consumption for protein sufficiency, resulting in soy protein imports to India.
USSEC provided technical assistance with aquatic animal health, feeding practices and other related issues to six tilapia producers in Guatemala. USSEC consultants Gina Conroy and Jairo Amezquita visited tilapia farms in Retalhuleu, Areca, Santa Barbara and Rio Dulce and gave guidance on issues related to the tilapia culture. These recommendations included methods to control oxygen levels in culture ponds during varying environmental temperatures, water management to control metabolic levels, mortality and nutrition management, and good feeding practices, among others.
While in Retalhuleu, Ms. Conroy and Mr. Amezquita, together with a feed manufacturer company representative, conducted a conference for 25 tilapia manufacturers. Lectures presented at this conference included “USSEC’s Role in the Aquaculture Industry,” “Fish Health Management” and “Better Aquaculture Practices in Tilapia Culture.”
Guatemala’s current aquaculture annual production is approximately 6000 metric tons (MT) of tilapia and 15,000 MT of shrimp, meaning a consumption of more than 11,000 MT of soy bean meal (SBM) for feed manufacture. There are good market opportunities for U.S. SBM as local and Mexican markets demand more whole fish and fresh fish filet and as the tilapia culture in Guatemala continues to develop.
We are excited to notify you of USSEC’s first Global U.S. Soy Trade Exchange, which will be co-located with Midwest Shippers 10th anniversary event in the Quad Cities.
This unique event will attract over 125 global buyers of commodity soybean, meal and food grade (IP beans, non-GMO, isolates, concentrates, SPC, etc.). Through USSEC’s international regional offices, direct contact is being made to bring the most influential international buyers to the event from China, North Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Maghreb, Middle East and the Greater European region.
We invite our members to leverage this event by participating and sponsoring events that bring you closer to your international customers. You should come ready to close deals in this commercial event for the export of U.S. soy. These customers ARE expecting that your company will be in a position to do business.
The event will feature:
- Keynote speakers on current subjects of international and domestic customer interest, such as but not limited to: Global Soy and Grain Outlook; Free Trade Agreements; Sustainability, and the Value of U.S. Soybean Meal compared to other origin meals.
- Time to program “one-on-one” business meetings with customers at the event.
- Networking opportunities including dinner meetings. Our international representatives can assist you in coordinating these meetings for the evening of September 15. In the past, various exporters have coordinated separate dinners with international teams.
If you have questions, or if USSEC should direct this notice to someone else in your organization, please contact Greg Olwig (USSEC) at GOlwig@ussec.org and/or Bruce Abbe (Midwest Shippers) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the USSEC Board met in Orlando, Florida this week for a board meeting and to participate in the Commodity Classic Trade Show in nearby Kissimmee.
Topics discussed at the board meeting, held at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort—Bonnet Creek, included governance, membership optimization, a USSEC name rollout update, messaging platforms, industry leadership, leadership development and a QSSB update.
USSEC also exhibited at the Commodity Classic Trade Show at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee. Commodity Classic is the largest American farmer-focused and –led convention and trade show with over 6000 attendees and over 200 exhibitors. Commodity Classic provides growers, agribusinesses and agriculture experts a chance to gather to discuss ideas and innovations.
A reception honoring USSEC Chairman of the Board Randy Mann was also held at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center by the Kentucky Soybean Board and Kentucky Soybean Association. Mr. Mann will retire from the American Soybean Association and Kentucky Soy Promotion Board in December 2013.
USSEC consultant Miguel Marquez provided technical support to the Dirección General de Sanidad Animal/Dirección General de Ganadería (General Animal Sanitary and Husbandry Office) of the Dominican Republic in the effort to eradicate Newcastle Disease and Avian Influenza.
The goal of the Dominican Poultry Producers Association (private sector) and the National Directorate of Animal Health (official sector) is to have the Dominican Poultry industry completely free of Newcastle and Avian Influenza, which will then allow the Dominican poultry industry to begin exporting first to Haiti and eventually to other Caribbean countries.
Mr. Marquez made an inspection visit to the Laboratorio Veterinario Central (Central Veterinarian Lab) to assess the capabilities of creating virological serological and molecular biology tests for Newcastle and Avian Influenza diagnosis. He also presented a lecture titled “The Highly Pathogenic Exotic Avian Influenza A/H7N3 Outbreak in Jalisco, Mexico 2012” to more than forty students of veterinary medicine at the Universidad Instituto Superior de Agricultura (Agriculture Institute University) in La Herradura Santiago, DR.
Scott Singlestad, USB Director, traveled to Japan in February for a Poultry Nutrition Seminar and Roundtable. The goal of this trip was to give a presentation on the soybean production forecast for the 2013 crop from the U.S. farmer’s perspective and to give a high-level overview of the research that the Minnesota QSSB is funding.
Mr. Singlestad presented “The Current and Future Corn & Soy Production Outlook in the USA” at the seminar. He was also a panelist at the roundtable discussion, “What Do We Need to Consider Regarding Protein Source of Animal Feed for More Profitable Industry?” In addition to the seminar and roundtable, USSEC met with several broiler producers to discuss poultry feed.
USSEC Japan participated in the 18th National Natto Competition held in Utsunomiya Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. The event was organized and sponsored by the Japan Natto Cooperative Society Federation to demonstrate the commitment of the U.S. Soy Industry for the newly established Red River U.S. Award. USSEC, in collaboration with the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association (NFGSA), established the U.S. Soybean Prize Category in the National Natto Competition in 2011.
Participants included Bob Sinner, President of SB & B Foods, a USSEC member organization; Atsuko Uchiyama of Sun Opta, Japan represented the NFGSA; David C. Miller, Minister-Counselor for Agricultural Affairs of the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo; and Mitsuyuki Nishimura and Masi Tateishi of USSEC Japan.
Mr. Miller gave the opening comments at the reception and press meeting, highlighting the importance of agricultural trade between the U.S. and Japan. “The U.S. Embassy is dedicated to ensuring that the Japanese Natto industry continues to receive a constant supply of safe and high quality products from America’s soybean growers,” stated Miller. Mr. Sinner and Ms. Uchiyama, representing the NFGSA, presented the 3rd Red River Valley U.S. Award to Sato Shokuhin Kogyo, located in Kagoshima Prefecture. The award helps to ensure the safe and reliable production of crops from the Red River Valley region, grown and exported globally under a strict IP system.
USSEC will continue its strong commitment to the Japanese Natto Industry. Currently, U.S. Soy growers provide 83% of Japan’s natto. This partnership with the natto industry continues to strengthen U.S. sales and preserves loyalty to U.S. IP soy.
The young population of many countries in the Middle East region translates into a growing market for soy exports.
The Dubai office, which opened in December, services Middle East and India customers of U.S. soy. Dubai was chosen because it is centrally located between these two markets, and it is an extremely safe country, so there aren’t any security issues.
The United States currently exports soybeans to Middle Eastern countries as the region is made up of young economies, and many people in the region have alternative eating habits. Economies in the Middle East are flourishing and great potential lies ahead for the middle class as these countries transition into democracies.
On the other hand, India is a reverse market because it currently exports its own soybeans and soy meal. Within the next three years, as India’s economy continues to grow, poultry consumption is expected to increase because most people of the Hindu religion do not eat beef. Poultry, of course, are the single biggest user of soy meal, so increased consumption could mean more U.S. soy meal. China used to be a reverse market, but now it’s the No. 1 export market of U.S. soy.
The Middle East holds huge market potential for U.S. soy because of its growth opportunities as a young population. Throughout this region, they have excellent poultry production, which is comparable to U.S. standards.
Zero to 4.5 million is the end result of United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF) efforts over the last three years to introduce and increase consumption of a single new pork cut in Japan.
Growing U.S. pork exports represents better value for U.S. soybean farmers because it means feeding U.S. soy to animals here and exporting value-added products like meat. This supports U.S. soy’s No. 1 customer – the animal ag industry – while strengthening the demand for U.S. soy.
Through a multifaceted campaign, USMEF showed Japanese consumers that back ribs, an underutilized pork portion, were easy to cook and delicious. By the end of the campaign, Japanese consumption of back ribs went from 0 to 4.5 million pounds annually, and continues to increase.
By partnering with USMEF, U.S. soybean farmers can support their biggest customers while strengthening the demand for U.S. soy.
In 2011, the United States exported 4.97 billion pounds of pork, which would have used an estimated 87 million bushels of soybeans. A record year, 2011 pork exports were up 18 percent from 2010 and 10 percent from the previous high in 2008. U.S. pork export volume from January to November 2012 was up 3 percent from 2011, keeping the year on track to break more records. That’s the meal from 75.6 billion bushels of soybeans.