Soybean farmers in the United States are starting to lose Chinese market share to Brazil due to their high-yield but low protein content crops.
Soybeans with low protein levels have little value to entities that produce feed for pigs, chickens, fish and cattle and as a result soybean buyers look to Brazil where the warmer weather helps offset the higher yields on protein levels.
With about $22.8 billion shipments in 2016, soybeans are easily the most valuable agricultural export in the United States. The lowering protein levels and market share may greatly affect soy farmers who are already dealing with a global oversupply as well as lowered prices.
Farmers in Brazil use the same soybean seeds as the farmers in the United States but they have one advantage over them. Thanks to the longer days and warmer weather that Brazil offers, farmers yield crops that contain around 37 percent protein on average data from Ambrapa, Brazil’s agriculture research agency, shows.
Brazil’s 37 percent is better in contrast to the United States 34.1 percent for its crops in 2017. This is enough to get a lot of buyers on Brazil’s side especially along with the fact that the nation is taking steps to expand their production and lessen delays in shipping.
The United Soybean Board has commenced a small project at a few processors and grain elevators in order to monitor the protein content of the soybeans that are delivered by local farmers.
The project’s goals is to gather highly localized data in hopes that farmers will use seeds that yields crops with a higher-level protein content.
The United Soybean Board has also made efforts to fund research in boosting soybean protein content. It has funded studies from the University of Illinoi and by DuPont Pioneer.