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Local study reveals soybean industry’s $124 billion impact on U.S. economy


Sep 9, 2023

The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) and the United Soybean Board (USB) have released a new study titled “The Economic Impact of the U.S. Soybeans & End Products on the U.S. Economy.” The study, commissioned by NOPA and USB and conducted by LMC International Ltd., analyzes the value of the American soybean industry. According to NOPA President Thomas Hammer, the study reveals the significant economic contributions of the soybean processing and refining sectors to the U.S. economy, supporting jobs and connecting soybean farmers with end users. Soybeans are processed into meal and oil, which are used in various industries such as food, feed, industrial products, and biofuels, generating billions of dollars in domestic wages.

The 33-page study examines the impact of the soybean value chain on the U.S. economy using data from crop years 2019/20 to 2021/22. Key findings from the report include:

– The soybean sector had an average total economic impact of $124 billion on the U.S. economy, with $85.7 billion coming from soy production and $9.8 billion from soybean processing. The soy sector accounts for approximately 0.6% of the U.S. gross domestic product.
– More than 500,000 people are involved in soy farm decision-making, including 223,000 paid, full-time equivalent jobs and an additional 62,000 family members who play integral roles in soybean farming operations.
– The sector had an average wage impact of $10 billion.

Meagan Kaiser, USB Chair and Missouri farmer, expresses her appreciation for the report’s affirmation of the U.S. soybean industry’s significant impact on U.S. farmers and the overall economy. She emphasizes the wide-ranging role of soy in areas like food security, renewable energy, and various consumer products. The report aims to raise awareness among consumers about soy as a versatile ingredient and its sustainable contribution to the future.

The study quantifies economic impacts in terms of revenue, wages, jobs, and the number of people dependent on the sector. It covers the entire soybean value chain, spanning from soybean farming and production to consumers and exports. The findings are presented at the national and state level, as well as by congressional district. The study also includes one-page summaries for key states where the soybean industry primarily operates. The complete study and related summary sheets can be downloaded from NOPA’s website.

Established in 1930, NOPA represents the U.S. soybean, canola, flaxseed, safflower seed, and sunflower seed crushing industries. Its members consist of 13 companies operating a total of 61 soybean and 5 softseed solvent extraction plants across 21 states. These companies produce meal and oil used in human food, animal feed, fuel, and industrial applications. Collectively, NOPA members process around 94% of all soybeans in the United States.

The United Soybean Board is comprised of 77 volunteer farmer-leaders who work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Their goal is to maximize the value of soy checkoff investments through research, education, and promotion in areas such as infrastructure, health, nutrition, innovation, and technology. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service oversees the United Soybean Board and the soy checkoff program.

For more information on NOPA, please visit their website at www.nopa.org. Additional details about the United Soybean Board can be found at unitedsoybean.org.

By Editor

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