The soy checkoff has set an ambitious goal to achieve of 18 million planted acres of high oleic soybeans. In this Q&A, Mississippi farmer and checkoff farmer-leader Jimmy Sneed gives an update on the progress farmers are making and the importance of reaching the goal to drive demand for U.S. soy.
Q: How is the soybean industry doing in meeting its goal of 18 million planted acres?
A: We’re on track this year with 450,000 acres planted, which is double our acres last year. Right now we’re aiming to continue doubling our acreage year after year, which would put us in position to hit the goal.
Q: Why has the industry set such an aggressive goal?
A: If we aren’t aggressively taking advantage of this new technology, canola oil and other oils will continue to try and take our market share away. We have such a great opportunity with this innovation that we need to make the most of it.
Q: What are some of the hurdles farmers are facing?
A: Global regulatory approvals are important for market access. We need to make sure we have the opportunity to sell our innovation worldwide. Without these approvals, logistics are harder to coordinate with our processing partners.
Q: What do farmers need to do to continue helping the industry meet its goals?
A: It’s simple: if high oleic is available in your area, plant it. We need to stay informed of the technology and innovation available to help us keep our soy products as the preferred choice worldwide.