Increased U.S. Soybean Exports Helps Illinois Economy
Last week, the U.S. exported 25 million bushels of soybeans to China, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Soybean futures are up 3% nationwide which is good news for Illinois, number two in exports in the U.S.
Ron Kindred, Board Member on the Illinois Soybean Association and a farmer from Atlanta, Illinois, says the state also crushes about half of the sobean product which leads to $2.8 billion in economic output and nearly 2,000 jobs. Research predicts that increasing crush capacity by 2.5 million tons annually would add at least $137 million in new economic output and more than 650 additional jobs.
Kindred says a huge benefit of soybean production is the biodiesel industry. He says it gets rid of surplus soybean oil, lessens our dependence on foreign oil and is the only renewable fuel that passes the clean air standards.
Kindred says the ideal situation for Illinois soybean farmers is to increase the competitiveness for the meat industry by feeding livestock. He says it creates jobs in the livestock and processing industry, calling it a "win-win."