U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Selected paper, AAEA Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA July 23-26, 2006.


Soybean production ranks among the largest agricultural cash crops in the U.S., second only to corn. U.S. soybean production topped 3 billion bushels in 2005 with sales of $17 billion. Approximately 58% of U.S. soybeans are grown in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, and Nebraska. A small percentage of the U.S. soybean crop, 2%, goes to human consumption in the form of whole beans, soybean oil, and soybean meal products. A third of the crop, 1 billion bushels per year is exported annually to China, EU, Mexico, Japan, and Taiwan, and other countries. Most of the crop, 2 billion bushels, goes to the U.S. livestock industry to feed poultry, hogs, and cattle. Variations in the supply of soybeans thus directly impact livestock production. In recent years, soybean prices have exceeded the $5 per bushel U.S. loan rate fluctuating from $5 to over $7 per bushel. Continued success of this crop is threatened by the introduction of two new invasive species, soybean rust and soybean aphid.