Third-party study finds soy checkoff investments provided added value, even in recent down-market times.
ST. LOUIS (February 06, 2020) — According to a recent independent economic study, the soy checkoff continues to translate farmer investments into significant benefits for U.S. soybean farmers. The results of the 2019 return-on-investment (ROI) study, which is required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that U.S. soybean farmers received $12.34 in added value for every dollar they invested in the soy checkoff1.
“These have been some of the toughest years to be a soybean farmer,” said USB Chair Jim Carroll III, a soybean farmer from Brinkley, Arkansas. “We have to be wise and careful with our investments in this business, and I’m proud that our soy checkoff continuously adds value to our industry.”
The ROI study analyzed the demand- and supply-enhancing activities funded by the soy checkoff between 2014 and 2018 and was conducted by Dr. Harry Kaiser, a leading research expert at Cornell University in the field of agricultural economics and its application to commodity checkoff programs.
“The study finds that USB’s activities have had a positive and significant impact on soybean demand between 2014 and 2018,” Dr. Kaiser said.
Key findings included:
- U.S. soybean farmers received $12.34 in added value for every dollar they invested in the soy checkoff over the last five years.
- Every dollar U.S. soybean farmers invested in international promotion activities produced $17.95 in return value.
- Soy checkoff investments made toward demand-enhancing research and promotion returned an average value of $18.18.
- Collaborative soy checkoff investments in production research that leverage industry and academic partners continue to provide promising returns to U.S. soybean farmers, returning an average value of $9.42.
These estimates were reached using econometric models of domestic and international soybean markets that allowed the research team to net out the impacts of other important factors — such as other crops, substitute commodities, income, exchange rates and economic conditions in importing countries — to determine the estimated impact of the soy checkoff’s work and investments.
USB’s 78 volunteer farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.
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