soybean field

U.S. Soy Relies on Quality, Better Transportation Infrastructure to Combat Brazil’s Bumper Soy Crop

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that Brazil’s successful growing season puts that country neck and neck with the U.S. in soybean production.  The USDA estimates Brazil will harvest more than 3.012 billion bushels of soybeans this year, compared to nearly 3.015 billion bushels harvested in the United States last fall.

United Soybean Board (USB) Director-Farmer David Iverson notes that this increased quantity could extend Brazil’s export supply and negatively impact the price U.S. soybean farmers receive this year.   “Even though Brazil’s success may impact our market, a lot of our customers really like the quality of U.S. soybeans,” he states.
The U.S. transportation infrastructure is another competitive advantage.  U.S. soybean farmers enjoy the overall reliability and efficiency of the U.S. transportation system while Brazil continues to struggle with clogged ports and roads.   According to the Bloomberg news service, soybean vessels have waited as long as 39 days to load at the country’s main port of Santos.  Mr. Iverson and USB Director Bob Metz visited Brazilian port facilities on the Amazon River earlier this year with the South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and witnessed those trucking and shipping bottlenecks first-hand.  According to Mr. Iverson, “We need to maintain our transportation infrastructure and keep making improvements to our lock-and-dam system, roads and bridges, and rail system so we don’t lose that competitive edge.”  “Even with a drought affecting our yields last year, we are still able to produce more soybeans than Brazil, which had a bumper crop harvest.”