The Kansas Soybean Commission works with the national soybean checkoff to promote U.S. soybeans in international markets. That development is crucial to the future of U.S. soybean farmers. About every other row of soybeans is exported; therefore, overseas markets play a big role in soybean farmers’ profitability.
U.S. soy has the fewest trade barriers among all world agriculture exports, allowing soybean exports to have more access than other commodities. The U.S. soybean industry has taken advantage of that access. Total U.S. soybean exports have tripled since 1984, from nearly 598 million bushels to more than 2 billion bushels in 2016. China is our biggest customer, spending more than $14 billion on U.S. soybeans and soybean oil in 2016.
In 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Kansas exported $404 million of soybeans. They were the fourth most valuable export for the state – behind civilian aircraft, wheat and fresh beef.