Casting a wider net to increase soybean meal demand is paying off.
Following years of checkoff-funded research, the Association of American Feed Control Officials recently authorized a new definition for the use of synthetic taurine in fish feeds. Approving taurine from additional sources reduces the need for fishmeal in feeds and allows for more soy protein; a change that could directly impact farmers’ bottom lines.
“Years ago, we recognized that taurine was a limiting factor to maximizing our share of a fast-growing market,” says Mike Beard, soybean farmer from Frankfort, Indiana, and director on the United Soybean Board. “This new approval opens up a significant part of the aquaculture diet for soy.”
Following this approval, farmers could start seeing added demand and the benefits it brings.
Soybean meal offers a high-quality, renewable protein source for many species of fish. This makes it an economical choice for fish feed manufacturers. The potential for increased soy-demand in this market will have a direct impact on the return farmers receive for their soybeans at the elevator.
Demand for seafood is growing at a staggering rate. Identifying this opportunity years ago ensured that farmers would be able to begin capturing their share of value right along with it.
“This is a great example of the checkoff’s commitment to maximizing soybean farmers’ profitability,” comments Beard. “We will see our efforts from this innovative investment in aquaculture pay off for years to come.”
USB’s 73 farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.