Growing the India Market

Minnesota’s cold soybeans are a hot topic when it comes to quality

For the past 20 years, India has been producing its own soybeans for food consumption and livestock feed. As the population expands, India must look for an outside source to help compensate for the expanding consumer demand.

“India is very similar to the United States, as both dislike the beany taste in soy products,” says Kim Nill, director of market development at Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council.

In Minnesota, soybeans that are harvested cold, and stored and transported in colder environments have less beany flavors. “This is where the United States, especially Minnesota, can play a large role in expanding its soy use,” Nill adds.

Shipping cold-storage soybeans
Informa Economics recently reported that electronic sensors placed in below-the-waterline cargo containers have shown that if soybeans begin the voyage cold, they will remain cold for weeks while being transported across the ocean.

“This report is promising to Minnesota, and the state’s cold soybeans are a hot topic when it comes to quality potential to export out of the Port of Duluth,” Nill says. “Exporting to India will start small. It may only be a few cargo containers at a time placed in a ship’s hold below the waterline. When Minnesota later begins exporting an entire ship’s hold full of soybeans, the greater mass will result in those soybeans remaining cold for an even longer period of time.”

The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) uses checkoff dollars to help fund soybean research and variety projects to help expand potential markets and meet customers’ needs.

“It is a very exciting time at Minnesota Soybean,” says CEO Tom Slunecka. “We have lines of soybeans that have been developed with checkoff dollars through our work with the University of Minnesota. We are now finally positioned to take full advantage of the opportunities presented overseas for the demand of these beans.”

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