Shickley farmer and a director of the Nebraska Soybean Association, Kenneth Boswell participated in a trade mission to China, sponsored by the Nebraska Soybean Check-off Board last month. The purpose of the mission was to educate Nebraska farm leaders of China‘s economic growth and how it influences demand for soybeans and soy products.
“China has changed drastically since I was there with the LEAD program in 1993,” said Boswell. An example of this is the city of Shenzhen. The city was around 100,000 people in 1993. Today it is 14 million people. This has been caused by the youth of the rural areas moving to the city. The standard of living has increased as well. This has increased the demand for meat in their diets, increasing the need for soybeans as the livestock industry has modernized to meet this demand.
Quality is a major concern of the Chinese. They like importing soybeans from the Pacific Northwest (PNW) because of logistics. All of the buyers stated the protein and oil content of soybeans is lower from the PNW than the gulf and South America. We stressed that they request Nebraska soybeans when buying beans from the PNW.
Nebraska beans generally are higher in oil and protein than soybeans from other states that are shipped from the PNW.
Soybean producers can help this as well by being more concerned with the oil and protein content potential of the soybean seed they plant.