Working together will boost soybean future, ASA says

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Soybean, Asa

The majority of soybean producers have said collaboration with
legislators is underscoring the future of the industry, according
to a survey.

The American Soybean Association's (ASA) survey also shed light on "misconceptions" of what the group does. More than 20 per cent who took part in the survey mistakenly believed ASA is funded by the soybean checkoff program, a fund to promote research on soybean. In fact, ASA is the collective voice of 27,000 soybean producers and is funded by membership dues. In response, ASA will now concentrate its campaign on pointing out the differences between it and the checkoff program. President John Hoffman said: "It is important to recognize that both ASA and the soybean checkoff provide vital contributions to strengthening and growing the soybean industry. "For example, the checkoff funded research to conduct tests on biodiesel, and then ASA worked with Congress and policymakers to create the federal biodiesel tax incentive that has created a growing market for biodiesel. The work of both ASA and the checkoff has been key to the success of biodiesel. "We want soybean farmers to understand the importance of providing their voluntary support to ASA." ​ASA is encouraging soybean farmers to join their state soybean association, which includes membership in ASA. Hoffman added: "We're using this campaign to tell soybean farmers that if they believe in the importance of sticking together, promoting trade and ensuring federal support for biodiesel, then it is important to belong to ASA, because that's the work we do." ​ ASA's education and membership campaign is supported by a grant from Monsanto. Legislation is an important issue when it comes to soybeans. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in the midst of reviewing the nation's soybean standards. The review had been requested by soybean producer groups as a result of the changes that have occurred in the breeding and production practices of soybeans as well as in the technology used to harvest, process, and test the beans. USDA first established soybean standards in 1940, revising these in 1994 and 2006. The 2006 revisions, which provide specifications for determining the grade of the beans, are due to be implemented on September 1 2007.

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