During our many hours of travel time (including a drive home to Sioux Falls,after our flight from Chicago was cancelled), the group had plenty of time to collect our thoughts and reflect on our experiences. From those conversations we developed a top 10 list to share with you.
The past couple of days have been filled with visits to feed mills and fish farms in the more rural areas of Vietnam. Vietnam is the largest soybean meal buyer in the world, with about 10 million metric tons of soybean meal going to commercial feed production. About 20% of this goes to producing feed for aquaculture in South Vietnam.
On Sunday we spent the day in the city of Zhu Hai in Southern China. Zhu Hai is located on the Pearl River Delta. The Pearl River is a large river for aquaculture because it has a number of tributaries. Also because the river is in Southern China, there is a longer growing season for the fish.
We’re here! After a long day of traveling, we hit the ground running on our first day in China. We had the opportunity to meet with a Chinese grain company where they gave us an overview of their business, Chinese grain markets and projections. SD Soybean also delivered a presentation to explain a little about South Dakota and our ag production. The buyers asked quite a few questions regarding our projected yields, crop conditions and quality of our soybeans.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been busy preparing for our upcoming trade mission to China and Vietnam. We’re taking off on Tuesday to promote South Dakota soybean quality and exports abroad. South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture, Walt Bones, will also join the group of farmer-leaders on the trade mission. As the top government official for South Dakotas number one industry, Bones and soybean leaders will have the opportunity to meet with foreign government officials, importers and other major customers.