Sustainability, Technology, and Innovation Prove U.S. Soy’s Quality

The intrinsic and extrinsic qualities of U.S. soybeans were the focus of the 2021 Americas Agricultural Cooperators Conference in Mexico.

As he opened the Americas Agricultural Cooperators Conference earlier this month, U.S. Soybean Export Council CEO Jim Sutter spotlighted the growing global population — set to reach more than 9 billion people by 2050 —and the increasing global demand for soy and the value of U.S. Soy.
The conference was co-hosted by U.S. Wheat Associates and USA Rice Sept. 13-14 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president, shared an outlook on U.S. Rice with more than 150 integrators; feed, poultry, swine, and aquaculture producers; and industry association leaders. Participants joined from 15 countries in the Americas region.
The hybrid event featured subject matter experts, farmer leaders, and industry specialists who discussed topics relevant to agriculture including the 2021/22 market outlook, sustainability, animal nutrition, and freight and logistics. April Hemmes, USB director (Iowa), told attendees that sustainability starts on the farm.
“Farmers are the original conservationists,” said Stan Born, an Illinois soybean farmer and a director for USSEC and treasurer of the American Soybean Association. Innovation, technology, and sustainability deliver a positive impact for the soy value chain, he said, explaining that farm technology helps to enable growers’ stewardship of land, water, seed, and energy.
Doug Winter (pictured center stage), who serves as USSEC vice chairman and director for the United Soybean Board, also emphasized the importance of technology. Before travel shutdown due to COVID-19, Winter was already embracing technology to bring customers to his farm virtually, first connecting live during a 2017 conference and again at the 2020 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange, providing a tour of his farm.
This year, Winter’s farm is hosting the first ever U.S. Soy live cam, Soy Span. Soy Span provides a 24-hour live look at not only Winter’s soybean crop, but also his acreage committed to conservation reserve.
Doyle and Winter share their soybean, wheat, and rice crop conditions and their marketing plans with international buyers. Doyle grows soybeans and rice in Arkansas, while Winter grows soybeans and wheat in Illinois.
It’s technology and innovation that allows growers like Born, Winter and Hemmes to advance yields. Technology and innovation also provides increased visibility as to the nutritional profile of different ingredients, including soy. Marcela Drago, Evonik regional manager, gave a presentation on NIR technology that also highlighted the importance of leveraging data and technology in nutrition and processing.
Additionally, USSEC’s Director Global Nutrition Meal Courtney Knupp provided a U.S. perspective on African Swine Fever (ASF). Knupp said a coordinated and collaborative approach to disease prevention is key.
Mike Krueger, founder of The Money Farm, provided a post-pandemic perspective on U.S. wheat and on the logistics of supply and transportation.
Alexei Pinedo, CEO of APS ship brokers, gave a freight market update.
U.S. farmers’ embrace technology, innovation, and sustainability to demonstrate the U.S. Soy Advantage to a growing world population. Farmer leaders Brad Doyle (ASA vice president, Arkansas), Josh Gackle (ASA director, North Dakota), Doug Winter (USSEC vice chairman and USB director, Illinois), and Monte Peterson (USSEC chairman and ASA director) join USSEC CEO Jim Sutter (second from right) in a visit to USSEC’s regional office in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Partially funded by U.S. soybean farmers and their checkoff dollars.