Though U.S. animal agriculture's increasing appetite for soybean meal drove consumption up by 1 million tons in the 2011-2012 marketing year, a new soy checkoff-funded study reveals that the industry will have to work to keep that trend afloat.
The study, "National Animal Agriculture Economic Analysis," outlines economic benefits the poultry and livestock sectors can provide on a state and national level, as well as benefits to the soy industry and use of soybean meal. It was commissioned by the checkoff and completed by Agrilytica.
Domestic animal agriculture remains a key player in the soybean demand situation, the checkoff said, because it uses about 97% of the U.S. soybean meal consumed in the United States.
"The success of the U.S. soybean industry relies on the strength of the U.S. animal agriculture industry," says Mike Beard, a checkoff farmer-leader from Frankfort, Ind.
However, the severe drought in 2012, rising feed costs and slowing U.S. consumer demand have pressed the industry, the report found. Those pressures, while significant speed bumps for the livestock industry, can be a downer for soy growers, too.
"Actions to maintain and expand animal agriculture in the United States – by supporting its long-term competitiveness - are of critical importance to the soybean sector," the report noted.
The economic portion of the analysis indicated that on a national level, the livestock sector supports 1.8 million jobs, $346 billion in total economic output, a $60 billion impact on household incomes and $21 billion in income and property taxes paid.
According to the report, U.S. poultry, livestock and fish farmers used more than 30 million tons of soybean meal in the time period measured. Broilers and swine continue to be by far the two biggest soybean-meal users, consuming the meal from about 476 million and 410 million bushels of U.S. soybeans, respectively.
Click here for the full report, including state-by-state analysis.
Source: Soy Checkoff