Ag leaders look for solutions for challenges facing the industry

From trade wars to COVID-19, 2020 has presented farmers with consistent challenges. Ag leaders hold a virtual town hall to focus on current challenges and solutions for the industry.

Good production paired with lower exports to China left soybean growers with record high ending stocks last season. In response, the U.S. Soybean Export Council launched a new initiative to support prices. The council’s CEO, Jim Sutter, states, “In our organization, as we saw this coming, we launched an initiative called ‘What It Takes’ and put very simply it’s what it takes to keep exports about unchanged versus where they were the previous year. It was aimed at growing U.S. soy demand in other non-China markets.”

Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Egypt are seeing major growth, worth roughly $5 million metric tons of soybeans. The total demand is growing too. “Global soy demand every year, on average... grows at a growth rate of 4 percent, so that’s 11 million tons or 400 million bushels per year,” according to Sutter.

Like many industries, corn growers were facing record low prices. So, they assembled a task force to create a strategy for long-term recovery. National Corn Growers Association president, Kevin Ross states that their next move forward will be focusing on ethanol as the next large demand driver for corn. Growth Energy is also invested in expanding the ethanol market by increasing the worlds blend rate.

Ag equipment manufacturer, Vermeer, sources 25 percent of its parts and materials from other countries. Trade barriers and the global pandemic cut into the bottom line.