Soybeans


 

SOYBEAN CHECKOFF

If you grow soybeans, there is this program–not sure what else to call it–named the Soybean Checkoff.  Basically, when you sell soybeans, you get docked a few cents per amount sold to advertise, etc. soybeans.  I received my latest issue of the Lonestar Soybeans recently.  For those of you reading from afar, Lonestar refers to Texas.  It is the Lonestar state and our flag has one lone star on it.  Back to soybeans.  First, there is a report on soybean production issues.  Research is to the point in terms of soybean physiology that they are about to zero in on optimal planting time, conditions, latitude, etc.  Here in this part of Texas, generally no one grows soybeans.  We grow irrigated corn and wheat, milo, sorghum, and crops that do not require as much water as soybeans.

EXPORTS AND ETHANOL

I grew up on a farm where we raised both soybeans and corn–I still do.  We raised some wheat also; tried milo, but it was too wet in Missouri.  Never thought a lot about where my soybeans went after I sold them so I learned something new today.  Compared to all other crops, we export more soybeans than anything else–to the tune of 20 billion dollars a year.  We also export a lot of wheat–about the same as soybeans, but soybeans trump wheat if you include soybean meal and oil.  Meanwhile corn exports have dropped steadily since 2007 or so.  Why?  Ethanol.

GMO

This report does not tell the reader some other notable facts.  While almost all corn grown commercially in the United States is GMO, such is not the case for soybeans.  The big market for soybeans is Asia and at least China will pay more for non-GMO soybeans.  60 per cent of all soybean exports go to China.  For those of you out there who are adamant about GMO, perhaps the solution is demand for non-GMO.  Currently, the only way I know to get non-GMO corn is to find a company that sells heirloom seeds and plant and harvest the corn yourself or find a small farmer who does this.

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