The global animal agriculture industry consumes 97% of all U.S. soybean meal, and U.S. farmers are diligent about practices to ensure that U.S. soybean meal is a dependable feed ingredient.
Most of this soybean meal is consumed by swine and poultry. Because of this, the United Soybean Board (USB) is monitoring and responding to a recent outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in Chinese swine herds and U.S. farmers are being encouraged to take extra measures to mitigate a potential domestic outbreak by using U.S.-produced soybean meal. While spread by direct or indirect contact, viruses can live on most surfaces for short periods of time, including feed that comes in contact with infected animals. African swine fever has not been detected in the U.S., although it has spread to parts of Europe. Consequently, U.S. pork producers are being cautioned to take extra care with imported meal or synthetic additives and to consider buying more U.S. soybean meal.
“I raise both soybeans and livestock, so I have a personal appreciation for the concerns of the animal agriculture industry,” says Lewis Bainbridge, United Soybean Board (USB) chair and soybean farmer from South Dakota. “We know U.S. soybean meal is a nutritious, reliable product for our animals, and the U.S. soybean industry is committed to providing this abundant supply of feed for poultry and livestock.”
The soy checkoff has consistently participated in efforts to control foreign animal diseases, including projects to mitigate and eradicate threats such as African swine fever, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and others. USB efforts related to pathogens include cross-industry discussions with USB’s feed technical team, who will continue to coordinate during this latest occurrence.
“U.S. soybean farmers know we are providing global pork producers with a wholesome, quality feed ingredient – U.S. soybean meal,” adds Bainbridge. “Through our checkoff, we’re working closely with the pork industry to produce the soybean meal that meets their needs.”
USB’s 73 farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.