A group of Chinese soybean buyers now have a better awareness of U.S. soybean yields and production practices thanks to a tour of a southern Minnesota that included a stop at the Lawrence Sukalski family farm south of Fairmont.
The buyers, visiting Minnesota as part of a tour coordinated by the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and in conjunction with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), were in the state to learn more about soybean production and quality.
The Sukalski family is no stranger to hosting trade teams and enjoys bringing them to their farm to get a firsthand look at their soybean production practices. Sukalski serves as a director for both the Minnesota Soybean Grower Association (MSGA) the American Soybean Association and has travelled extensively to gain a better understanding of international markets.
The stop at Sukalski’s farm provided buyers with a walk to a nearby field to talk about Minnesota soybean yields and production. The buyers were particularly interested in learning about soybean yields, the cost of production, and farming practices. Sukalski and his family, along with his ag lender and crop insurance advisor took time to answer questions from the group. The buyers also spent time conducting yield counts throughout the field.
According to USSEC Marketing Manager Claudia Chong, the group was eager to visit the Sukalski farm to learn more about Minnesota production agriculture.
“This group is here to view the condition of the soybean crop and crop production in general,” Chong said. “They are very interested in learning more about how farmers watch and utilize market trends, too.”
The 10 buyers represent some of the largest soybean purchasing companies in China, which is a large market for U.S. soybeans. Sukalski recognizes the importance of educating the buyers on soybean production and the typical farming practices followed in southern Minnesota.
“We appreciate the opportunity to show them southern Minnesota soybean production,” said Sukalski. “And, we value our relationships with the Chinese. They recognize we grow a great product for them.”
As part of the tour, the Sukalski family treated the group to an evening meal featuring food prepared with Plenish ™ high oleic soybean cooking oil. The oil is a heart-healthy alternative to other commercial cooking oils. After the meal, the delegation continued to ask questions of the Sukalski family before returning to the hotel.
Prior to arriving in Minnesota, the buyers toured parts of Illinois. The delegation also visited the farms of soybean producers in Faribault and Freeborn counties as a part of their multi-state tour.
The MSR&PC oversees the investment of soybean checkoff dollars on behalf of the state’s soybean farmers. The council is governed by the rules of a federally mandated checkoff program that requires all soybean producers to pay a fee on the soybeans they sell. Funds are used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans.