Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Director Eric Thorn is visiting Vietnam this week on an Essential Amino Acid (EAA) mission funded by the soybean checkoff.
Soybeans grown in northern regions, like Minnesota, North and South Dakota often receive lower crude protein scores. However, research has shown that northern-grown soybeans with lower crude protein actually have a higher critical amino acid value than soybeans with higher crude protein levels. MSR&PC has been focused on spreading this message to overseas soybean buyers, promoting Minnesota soybeans and its higher EAA content.
Thorn is accompanied on the trip by University of Minnesota Extension Agronomist Seth Naeve and soybean leaders from South Dakota.
“Our first three days have gone by very fast,” Thorn says.
Thorn reports U.S. soybean meal is receiving positive responses from Vietnamese agricultural community after he met with feed mill operators, nutritionists and meal buyers.
“They all say the quality of United States soybean meal is excellent compared to the rest of the world,” says Thorn, MSR&PC District 9 representative from Chatfield, Minn., in Fillmore County. “The Vietnamese are starting to understand the amino acid side of the feed industry. They are very receptive to it and are asking a lot of quality questions, which is a step in the right directed for U.S. soy products.”
Many of the Vietnamese feed mills are grinding up to 600 tons of feed each day; most of the soybean meal arrives to the mills on containers.
“All of that is put into bags to ship to customers,” Thorn says. “They want to know where the beans or meal are coming from, but in the end it’s like any other business – if you can buy it cheaper from someone else, they are going to do that.”
After touring Vietnam, Thorn and Naeve travel to Sri Lanka in South Asia.