Deron Erickson

SFY Participant Deron Erickson Appreciates Work of Soybean Checkoff

With more than half of Minnesota’s annual soybean crop being exported each year, the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) uses a portion of the soybean checkoff to expand markets and build relationships with international customers. Because of the value exporting brings to soybeans, the Council offers Minnesota farmers the opportunity to evaluate these investments by participating in a See For Yourself (SFY) mission.

The 2016 SFY mission will be headed to Vietnam, with tentative dates of March 16, 2016, through March 27, 2016. Any questions on the trip can be directed to Keith Schrader, Vice Chairman of MSR&PC, at 507-649-1574 or Those interested in the mission can apply here.

Leading up to the 2016 SFY mission, Minnesota Soybean will be interviewing past participants about their mission experience.

Deron Erickson is a farm business management educator at Ridgewater College while operating a 450 acre corn and soybean farm east of Chokio, Minn.

Q: Where did you travel to for your See For Yourself (SFY) mission?

A: I traveled to China in March of 2013.

Q: What influenced you to sign up for SFY?

A: I was hesitant to apply but saw it as a great chance to see our checkoff dollars at work. The chance to see the biggest export market for our soybeans was also a big draw. I am a farm business management instructor, as well as a farmer, so I also saw the mission as a chance to bring back the information gathered to the 60 farmers and students that I work with. Read more

Dr. Jim Orf

Dr. Orf Honored by Minnesota Crop Improvement Association

Dr. Jim Orf was recognized with the Achievement in Crop Improvement Award at the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA) Annual Meeting last January. Orf is a Soybean Breeder at the University of Minnesota and has been funded by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) for various research projects.

The Achievement in Crop Improvement Award is MCIA’s highest award and presented each year to recognize outstanding service in the seed industry, as well as excellent leadership within agriculture and the community. Orf’s past experiences and dedication led him to receiving this award. Read more

Soybean Checkoff Research

Something for your Toolbox – How your checkoff funds research

In October, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Production Action Team released its request for proposals (RFP) to solicit research and technology transfer projects to meet the needs of Minnesota soybean farmers across the state. The RFP was based on needs assessment conducted at county meetings and through field-day surveys across the state during the 2014 growing season.

The due date for pre-proposals was Dec. 15, and the action team has received 28 responses ranging across the four primary production focused categories we administer: Agronomic Research and Tech Transfer, Disease and SCN Management, Insect Management, and Soybean Breeding, Molecular Genetics and Functional Genomics. The total request for funding across these 28 pre-proposals summed to just over $2.4 million with approximately $1.3 million available for the 2015-2016 research cycle. Read more

Northwest Minnesota variety trial

U of M’s 2014 Soybean Variety Performance Trials released

Each year, the University of Minnesota through its soybean breeding program performs several public and private soybean variety performance trials. The 2014 variety trials are now available.

View the summation here: U-of-M-2014-variety-trials


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


Bioplastics Help Grow Market for Soybean Oil

Staff from Minnesota Soybean joined Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) and other industry leaders Wednesday to discuss the state of the bioplastics industry at a forum on biobased and conventional plastics held Tuesday, Oct. 28, in Maple Grove.

Minnesota Soybean Senior Field Director and Staff Lead for the New Uses Action Team Mike Youngerberg attended the forum. Read more

Northwest Minnesota variety trial

Another Look in the Field – The Value of Seeing for Ourselves

Several months ago, the production action team was approached by Kendall Nichols, Director of Research Programs for North Dakota Soybean, inviting them and soybean farmers from around the state to participate in a See For Yourself trip to Chile. The trip has been organized and will commence early next year on Jan. 3. For the next eight days, the team will visit and review soybean breeding, soybean production, research and utilization in Chile. 

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.

Read more

todd county

Another Look in the Field – Palmer Moves Farther North

On Friday Sept. 26, Ag Professional reported that Palmer amaranth had been found in Buffalo County, South Dakota. Early this spring Dr. Bob Hartzler with Iowa State University confirmed that Palmer had been identified at several locations in Iowa. 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.