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In Iowa, August is soybeans time to shine

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 10:47 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 11:06 a.m. CST
(Ty Rushing/Newton Daily News)
Gov. Terry Branstad declared August “Iowa Soybean Month.” Iowa leads the nation in soybean production.

Gov. Terry Branstad has declared August “Iowa Soybean Month,” and it’s no wonder, as Iowa is the nation’s leading soybean producing state, according to United States Department of Agriculture.

In the 2012 issue of Soy Stats, Iowa was said to have produced 466.12 million bushels of soybeans in 2011, with Illinois coming in second with 416.42 bushels.  Iowa’s figures from 2011 carry an estimated value of $5.5 billion.

Iowa Soybean Association President Mark Jackson is proud of the declaration and Iowa’s soybean producing ability and said as much in a recent press release.

“Not only do Iowa’s farmers lead the nation in the production of soybeans, the state’s soybean industry is a recognized leader in biodiesel, transportation, soy foods, international marketing, environmental stewardship and agronomic and production research,” Jackson said. “I’m proud to raise a crop that has many important applications, from serving as a vital source of protein for people and livestock to providing an important fuel source.”

The USDA estimated that between 100,000 to 149,000 acres of soybeans were planted in Jasper County in 2012, which resulted in 4 to 8 million bushels being produced in the county.

With bushels of soybeans currently selling for $15.70 each in Iowa, as of July report by the USDA, Jasper County’s farmers should see a strong windfall from the crop despite having unfavorable weather for this year’s planting season. The national average for a bushel is $15.40, according to the same report.

As more and more uses for soybeans arise — biodiesel, concrete sealant, crayons, soy foods, soy lotion, are among some of the crop’s growing uses — it should continue to do well.

“I recognize that the state values Iowa’s dedicated soybean farmers and their hard work contributes to our communities’ vitality and prosperity,” Branstad said during the ceremony. “We appreciate their long history of excellence and innovation.”