Guest column by Brandon Wipf, farmer from Huron and SDSA Director.
Today, hundreds of South Dakota soybean growers double as citizen scientists, testing various products and farming practices in their own fields with the intent to increase yields, ward off pests and disease and improve overall profits.
South Dakota soybean growers are encouraged to apply for the 2018 See For Yourself export tour to Mexico. The experience is hosted by the South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (SDSRPC). Ten farmers will be selected to travel to Mexico, February 18-24, 2018, where they will experience first-hand how the South Dakota soybean checkoff is working for them in the country.
Most soybean farmers probably don’t think much about what happens to their soybeans once they leave the farm gate. Because more than 60 percent of South Dakota’s soybean production is exported, there is a good likelihood that some may make their way to the largest bulk cargo handling facility in all of Asia. South Dakota farmers got a first-hand look at the port and met with soybean processors operating in the port to learn more about their operation and purchasing considerations.
Being the world’s largest soybean customer has its advantages. China’s 90 million metric tons (3.3 billion bushels) per year soy appetite means every soybean-producing country has their eyes on China. But not all soybeans are created equal.
The sheer magnitude of China’s soybean market and the opportunity it presents is much clearer to Brookings farmer Craig Converse, one of six South Dakota farmers on a trade mission to China and Thailand with the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (SDSRPC). The farmers are meeting with soybean buyers, traders, crushers and feed millers from the world’s largest soybean market.
Following reports of dicamba-related damage to soybean crops, the South Dakota Soybean Association (SDSA) encourages farmers who believe they are experiencing crop damage from dicamba to submit a survey to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA).