In addition to a global pandemic and a hotly-contested Presidential election, the year 2020 will be remembered for another milestone: the year South Dakota agricultural organizations came together to tell a unified story.
Lying in the heart of the Midwestern prairies, South Dakota State University has been making an impact in research, education and outreach through its land grant mission since 1881. With deep roots in agriculture, SDSU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences is no stranger to generating innovative solutions to meet the demands of our growing world. In fact, a potential solution to that demand came to life right at SDSU in the form of the nation’s first four-year degree in precision agriculture.
Three SD Soybean farmers were featured in a virtual trade tour as a part of the Export of Soybean Meal and Soybeans to Asia Project. Instead of trade teams traveling for the usual harvest crop tour, the project interviewed and filmed producers from Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota with the goal to walk overseas customers through all different aspects of harvest and highlight the families and farms supplying them. The videos are featured in English and Chinese on Youtube.
In June, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) hosted two digital conferences, reaching more than 1,700 customers and soybean industry representatives from the Pan-Asia region. The events – the Pan-Asia Soy Food Summit and Asia Trade Exchange 2020 – demonstrated U.S. Soy’s versatility as both food and feed and highlighted how the soy industry has remained reliable and sustainable since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Biodiesel Board recently announced our new vision to be a 6-billion-gallon industry by 2030. This vision more than doubles production of biodiesel and renewable diesel in the next decade and sets the industry on a fast growth trajectory to find feedstocks to supply that demand. Biodiesel and renewable diesel’s growth projections mean good news for soybean farmers.
“The timing was incredibly poor.” This comment from Kevin Scott, farmer from the Valley Springs, S.D. area, nicely sums up all soybean and cotton farmers’ thoughts on the court ruling shutting down the use of dicamba herbicides – right at the height of the growing season.
The devastating impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has tested the will of millions of agricultural businesses and farms throughout rural communities all over our nation, but help is on the way. Congress recently passed an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which includes over $310 billion in new funding to help small businesses and agricultural related industries support their payroll costs.