critical amino acid values

SEA Mission Promotes Critical Amino Acid Values, Northern Soybeans

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council Director Patrick O’Leary and Minnesota Soybean Director of Market Development Sam Ziegler are in Malaysia and Singapore until Friday, March 20, to promote the value of Minnesota Soybeans and critical amino acids values (CAAV). Their mission is funded by the MSR&PC, along with other soybean councils. Here is O’Leary’s account from Southeast Asia.

We have had meetings, presentations and dialogues with 19 people so far. We’ve had a nice mix of people. Their qualifications range greatly, from the president of one of the feedmillers, to feed formulators to buyers. Several people we have met with have shown strong interest in CAAV.

Patrick O'Leary

Patrick O’Leary

Due to disease pressure, poultry has really made strides in integration, from companies owning the hatchery, to the processing with feed mills, to commodity buyers. Read more

West Coast Port strike

Grays Harbor Construction Speaks Volumes for MN Soybean Exports

Construction for the deepening of the Grays Harbor Navigation Channel to its fully authorized depth of -38 feet MLLW will get underway in 2015 as $8 million for this critical project was included in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Fiscal Year 2015 (FY2015) work plan that was released Tuesday. President Barack Obama’s FY2016 budget also included $7 million for completing the deepening.

Grays Harbor, one of the fastest growing export ports on the West Coast, has had an increasing surge in cargo volumes with vessel traffic increasing more than 300% over the past five years. This increase is due to the proximity of the Port to the Pacific Ocean and expanding export markets on the Pacific Rim. With 90% of Grays Harbor shipping activity being export, the Port is a strong contributor to the U.S. balance of trade. Read more

Midwest Shippers Association

USSEC Announces U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange Coming to Minn.

MN Ag Expo attendees were treated to a surprise Thursday when the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) took center stage and stole the show.

USSEC announced that their third annual U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange would be held in Minneapolis, September 9-11, 2015.  The event was announced by Will McNair, Stakeholder Relations Manager, and Bruce Abbe, Executive Director of Midwest Shippers Association (MSA) during the MN Ag Expo tradeshow. MSA will again co-locate their Midwest Specialty Grains Conference & Trade Show with the USSEC conference.

“We’re eager to get this ‘save the date’ out there,” said Jim Sutter, USSEC CEO.  “We know a lot of our customers will be very excited to visit Minnesota, which is one of the top soybean-producing states in the U.S.” Read more

African Soybean Markets

Council Invests in Sub-Sahara African Region Market

In an effort to develop a new soybean market, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC ) has again committed funds toward the Sub-Sahara Africa region.

This market development project, in conjunction with the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH), is being called the Minnesota Soy Protein Promotion in Africa. The organization has been devoted to this market for a few years now and is beginning to see the results. Read more

Duluth Port an option for bulk shipping soybeans to EU

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council has a keen interest in re-energizing shipping of soybeans and soybean meal via the Duluth/Superior twin ports, especially as rail transportation capacity issues have arisen for soybean growers.

Minnesota Soybean farmers and staff, along with Midwest Shippers Association (MSA) staff, have been looking into bulk loading capabilities and handling considerations at ship loading elevators for independent exporters at Duluth. For next spring, bulk ship loading capability is looking promising and break bulk loading of products in bags and totes by crane is available now.

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Soybean Quality, Customer Relationship Importance of Asian Visits

A group of soybean purchasers and quality assessors from China and Indonesia passed through Minnesota early this week to observe the quality and yield of this year’s soybean crop while visiting local farms. The farm visits were part of the AGP-SRDC harvest tour and sampling survey on behalf of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council in partnership with AGP. Read more

Southeast Asia Soy Buyers Tour Minnesota Farm

Participants in a trade mission from southeast Asia,  visiting an area crop and livestock operation,  now have a better understanding of U.S. agricultural products and soybean production practices thanks to a tour of the Mike Riley family farm near Amboy.

Organized by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) in conjunction with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), the Southeast Asia trade mission included 45 executives representing 37 companies from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia.

For the Riley family, this was the second time a trade delegation has spent time on their farm to learn more about crop and livestock production.

The stop at the Riley farm provided the delegation with a close look at the equipment necessary to harvest soybeans and to learn more the production practices the family follows on their operation.  The group was particularly interested in learning more about the cost of production, grain storage and the latest in machinery technology.  Riley and his wife Cathy, along with their sons, Dusty and Ross, their ag lender and crop insurance advisor took time to answer questions from the delegation.  The group also spent time at a hog nursery facility to learn more about swine production and diets.  

“The group was very curious about the soybean production in this part of the state as they had heard this area had been hit hard by frost a week or so ago, so they were curious as how that may affect our yields,” said Riley. “This group really seemed interested in our operation and what it takes to produce soybeans.  It was a privilege for our family to share our crop and livestock operation practices with them.”

According to USSEC Regional Director for Southeast Asia Timothy Loh, the group was eager to visit the Riley farm to learn more about Minnesota crop and livestock production agriculture.

“Many of the companies represented on this delegation are importers of U.S. agricultural products,” Loh said. “The annual import requirement for this group is approximately 3.7 million metric tons of soybean meal, 2.5 million metric tons of commodity grade soybeans, and 37,000 metric tons of identity preserved, variety specific soybeans.”

Prior to arriving in southern Minnesota, the buyers participated in the Midwest Shippers Conference in Milwaukee, WI. The delegation also spent time at the farms of soybean producers in southeast Minnesota and in northern Minnesota.   

Rail, Transportation Concerns Power Discussions

Participants at the 2014 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange were treated to a harsh reality Tuesday and Wednesday at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee–infrastructure drives growth, and infrastructure, both globally and in the United States, is degrading.

Walter Kemmsies, Chief Economist for Moffat & Nichol, painted a bleak picture about the U.S. Economy, one that involved a path to a stagnant economy with outdated infrastructure.

“If you want the economy to grow, you need to hitch it to something that will help make it grow,” he said. “We need to concentrate on exports to get that growth.

Kemmsies pointed to Brazil as a country that has developed a plan for infrastructure, one that could have lasting impacts on the U.S. Soy industry. He says Brazil has invested in a major highway that will change how it ships grain to Asia, which means China will be able to buy much cheaper beans then those currently bought from the U.S.

That prospect worries Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Chairman Paul Simonsen.

“The big thing with Brazil is they are going to be such a low-cost seller of soybeans that we aren’t going to be in the same ballpark with them,” he said.

Minnesota Soybean Growers Association director Joel Schruers, who sits on the Market Development action team at Minnesota Soybean, agrees.

“If we lose this market to Brazil it is going to be very upsetting because we don’t have to lose it,” he said. “If we do, we just gave it to them.”

Kemmsies says the U.S. can avoid future troubles by concentrating on rebuilding infrastructure, and then by pushing exports.

Rail Concerns present
Several breakout sessions at the conference focused on rail transportation and the logjam affecting all sectors of rail shipments. Jay O’Neil of O’Neil Commodity Consulting and Senior Agricultural Economist at Kansas State University, says the rail epidemic is bigger than just agriculture.

“Rail business across all sectors has increased,” he said. “It’s not just a grain story. If it were only a grain issue, the problem would be much easier to fix.”

Anne Erickson, General Director of Feed Grains, Feed Products, Oilseeds and Meals for Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad, said their company acknowledges the current struggles with the rail shipments and has pledged to invest $5 billion into capital investments, including adding an additional 500 locomotives to the rail line and increasing and staggering the number of sets produced to accommodate the growing grain industry.

“It’s not about putting more cars out on the railways but getting more out of the assets we already have,” she cautioned the group of industry leaders, agribusiness professionals and international buyers.

O’Neil echoed the comment.

“We need greater efficiencies,” he said. “We need to move more cars in an efficient manner and not just clog up the railroads. We don’t want to play Whack A Mole and just feed the squeaky wheel.”

Even Minnesota Assistant Commisioner of Agriculture Charlie Poster, who presented an overview of crop production and food security in Minnesota, couldn’t escape questions about the rail situation in the U.S.

“Minnesota farmers have done well over the last several years and that is because they are highly productive,” Poster said. “We are producing more and more every year, but we need that effective rail partner to get the goods to the river or to the port and to the people when they need them.”

Buyers Conference Bolsters Global Trade Relationships

International grain buyers, farmers and agribusinesses spent the better part of the 2014 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange Tuesday and Wednesday in Mlwaukee, Wis., sharing ideas and making connections.

According to Minnesota Research & Promotion Council Chairman Paul Simonsen, that’s the way it should be.

“The value of the conference are the people who are here,” Simonsen said. “This conference gives us access to international people who we normally wouldn’t see unless we traveled oversees.”

Roughly 600 people descended on Milwaukee to learn about the state of the soybean industry as well as other grains, with messages on transportation, sustainability and food security. For farmers like Simonsen, the experience is invaluable.

“The amount of connections and networking that is done is really important,” he said. “This conference empowers our U.S. industry leaders a chance to connect and develop new ideas to reach our industry partners oversees.”

While soybeans were largely on everyone’s minds, an early panel Tuesday also highlighted the importance of diversity in the agriculture industry, not only domestically, but abroad as well.

Teresa Babuscio, Secretary General for COCERAL, says the culture of a business plays a big role in whether women can not only advance, but be taken seriously and contribute. Babuscio encourages women to seek out those companies and to aggressively pursue those positions.”

“Remain dependent in your way of thinking,” she told the audience. “Do not hesitate to challenge and express ideas, even if they are without cause and met with resistance.”

Mariela Urguia, First Vice President, AFACA, Venezuala Feed Manufacturers Association, says women continue to be hired or promoted into prominent roles, and for good reason.

“Our long careers show the strength of the work that can be done,” she said. “We’ve been able to move up the ladder and advance because of the hardwork we’ve done.”

Newly elected U.S. Soybean Export Council chairperson Laura Foell, of Iowa wrapped the Forum with an open plea to minorities and women in agriculture.

“Women and minorities represent new a different viewpoints that we don’t have right now,” she told the audience.

The conference wraps Wednesday, but the work building relatioinshs with international partners continues as approxiametly 55 buyers from SE Asia will continue their journey with a tour of a few Wisconsin facilities before a tour of the Mississippi River at Winona, stops at a pair of Minnesota farms, and presentations at the Minnesota Soybean office in Mankato.

Petefish Taiwan

Taiwan Soybean Meal Buyers Learn Value of Soybean Production

Daniel Goleman, a best-selling author with a Ph.D. in psychology, once said Western business people often don’t grasp the importance of establishing human relationships. When it comes to Minnesota soybean farmers and their customers abroad, nothing could be further from the truth.

Thanks to farmers such as Mike Petefish of Claremont, Minn., and Jeremy Hanson, who farms near Nerstrand, Taiwanese soybean meal buyers have a better understanding of the value of Minnesota soybeans and the dedication that goes into the production of those soybeans, all of which comes from the family farm.

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