Farmers face pressures to reduce input costs, fight herbicide and fungicide resistance, and continuously improve the sustainability of their crop. Globally, oilseed-producing nations face similar challenges. Biotechnology acceptance, while currently a challenge itself, can help farmers across the globe deliver on demands efficiently and sustainably. Access to new technologies enables farmers to meet the evolving demands of agriculture.

Oilseed producers, including delegates from the U.S. soybean industry, met in Sydney, Australia, from June 25–29 as part of the 20th International Oilseed Producers Dialogue (IOPD). Participating countries included Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Paraguay, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The goal was for each participating country to share perspectives on key issues, including international trade and the global regulatory environment for new breeding technologies. Through robust dialogue to address common challenges, these countries are working together to meet the needs of the future.

U.S. soybean farmers engaged with other oilseed farmers and delegates on key issues for the U.S. soy industry – innovation, international market expansion and market access for trade.

“The future demands innovation from U.S. soy,” says United Soybean Board Chair and Ohio soybean farmer John Motter. “IOPD provided a chance for the soy checkoff to discuss its research and marketing efforts to advance the technologies available to U.S. soybean farmers, including high oleic soybeans. These efforts help to continuously improve the meal, oil and sustainability of U.S. soy, which builds preference for our crop and increases our profit opportunities.”

U.S. soybean farmers address common challenges by joining global oilseed producers

International Trade and Market Expansion
Creating and marketing new technologies are the first steps in bringing innovation to the table. While U.S. soybean farmers take advantage of innovations in the field, their checkoff works to maintain and grow international markets overseas. International markets for U.S. soy are critical due to the high percentage of U.S. soy exported each year.

“Roughly 60 percent of the soy grown in the U.S. today is exported, and demand for U.S. soy is increasing globally alongside population growth,” says U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) Chairman and Nebraska soybean farmer Jim Miller. “By creating a dialogue and bringing together our international partners, USSEC expands its global network to identify allies to help ensure U.S. soy enjoys market access without trade barriers and, most importantly, ensure long-term demand keeps growing for U.S. soy.”

In addition to building international markets, U.S. soy needs market access for trade. IOPD provided a chance for U.S. soy delegates to discuss international trade dynamics and build relationships with like-minded organizations from around the world.

“Coordinating with fellow oilseed producer groups around the world can really pay dividends, especially on international trade and market access issues,” says American Soybean Association President and Illinois soybean farmer Ron Moore. “Our work at this meeting to discuss shared goals and plans regarding how new plant breeding technologies such as gene editing might be regulated around the world, as well as how market access can be expanded, is very timely.”