July 25, 2023


US farm-leaders of United Soybean Board set FY24 budget



The 77 farmer-leaders serving on the United Soybean Board (USB) in the United States approved US$191.5 million for the 2024 fiscal year budget.


The budget supports research, promotion and education investment portfolios selected through USB's Portfolio Development Process. These investments drive demand for US soy and return value to all US soybean farmers. The total budget figure also includes execution, oversight and programme support.


"I hope US soybean farmers are proud of their checkoff as we pool together our resources to improve our reliability and sustainability in delivering our crop to the global marketplace," said USB chair Meagan Kaiser. "But to make these significant gains and drive return on investment back to our farmers, we need to measure our success and learning through resilience, differentiation and reputation of US soy. As we look ahead to 2024, we know that soy delivers solutions, and in many cases, it serves as a drop-in replacement to improve our carbon footprint across thousands of products. The future is bright for US soy."


The board's approval during the organisation's summer meeting on July 17-21, hosted by the New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association in Niagara Falls, New York, puts in motion a strategic portfolio that focuses on growing preference and increasing the resiliency of US soy. Priority areas include infrastructure and connectivity, health and nutrition, and innovation and technology across supply and demand. In addition, the Communication & Education Committee aims to enhance the US soy and checkoff reputation across key audiences, and USB's export promotion investments focus on differentiating US soybeans around the world.


FY24 investments spanning each of the three priority areas, in addition to communication and education and export promotion, include:


Infrastructure and Connectivity


    - Engage in direct road, rail and river markets outreach to more organisations to continue the momentum for funding research for US infrastructure improvements;


    - Identify and address infrastructure and logistical constraints limiting market entry and expansion of existing and new soy-based technologies. Efforts will explore innovative soy-based materials recycling and new processing technologies for soybean oil and meal.

Health and nutrition


    - Collaborate with leading agronomists and extension and research scientists to deliver real-time updates from fields across soy-growing regions to better inform farmers about emerging pests and diseases, providing recommendations for management and control;

    - Conduct research illustrating soy's support across the lifespan: healthy growth, living and aging. In animal diets, continue research in anti-nutritional factors and increase soybean meal inclusion rates across the poultry, pig, dairy and aquaculture sectors.

Innovation and technology


    - Develop new biochemicals and biologicals for pest management, including research on natural products as potential herbicides, fungicides and nematicides. Field trials using genomics will also accelerate the development of new soybean varieties;


    - Initiate innovative new uses across multiple sectors as a drop-in replacement to petroleum and petrochemicals. One example includes bio-based firefighting foam made from soybean meal/flour.


Communication & Education Committee


- Bring the US soy's brand to life by integrating stories of soy-based products into events and programming, fostering an emotional connection with consumers. This effort aligns with USB’' Reputation Acceleration Strategy, which focuses on building positive influence, reputation and demand for soy. USB is also committed to informing farmer stakeholders about its checkoff investments, ensuring a favorable future for US soy;


Export promotion


    - Growing exports in more than 80 countries through the US Soybean Export Council's strategy to differentiate US soy in the global marketplace. Partnerships with the US Meat Export Federation and the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council promote exports of soy-fed meat. Investment in the American Soybean Association's World Initiative for Soy in Human Health creates long-term demand for US soybeans in developing and emerging markets and improves food security.


"For every dollar we invest in the checkoff, we're getting US$12.34 back in returns," said USB vice chair Steve Reinhard. "Whether it's our analysis and design investments to dredge the Mississippi River, cover crop cost-share programme through Farmers for Soil Health or increasing soybean meal inclusion in poultry and pig diets, these have been some huge wins for the American farmer. In the year ahead, demand growth for soybean oil in biofuels, adhesives and nonfood uses will continue to grow, opening up doors for checkoff investments."



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