The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) has created new tools to help soybean growers better understand and support their No. 1 customer – Illinois livestock producers. Funded by the soybean checkoff, a new video and fact sheet encourage soybean growers to consider the importance of animal agriculture in Illinois.
"Most soybeans grown in Illinois are used in soybean meal fed to livestock," says Pat Dumoulin, farmer and ISA vice chairperson of animal agriculture from Hampshire, Ill. "Unfortunately the Illinois livestock sector has been steadily decreasing during the past 10 years, due in part to increasing regulations and other challenges."
Pork production alone accounts for 82% of soybean meal use in Illinois. In total, livestock and poultry consume 95% of all soybean meal used in Illinois. A decrease in livestock production equates to less local demand for Illinois soybean meal and higher transportation costs for farmers.
"A healthy livestock sector in Illinois not only helps ensure a market for our soybeans, but it's also good for our local and state economies," explains Dumoulin. "In the past decade, Illinois has lost more than $200 million in revenues and an estimated 2,000 jobs from a contracting animal agriculture sector."
She adds: "As with any business, we need to understand and support our top customers in their endeavors. Their success and our success go hand-in-hand."
To learn more and view the new resources, go to www.ilsoy.org/index.cfm?pageID=90.
ISA is the statewide organization for Illinois soybean growers. The farmers on its board administer soybean checkoff funds to support research, promotions and educational programs designed to increase demand for Illinois soybeans, and administer legislation and membership programs. For more information, visit www.ilsoy.org.