On June 8, the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) Market Development team hosted buyers from the Americas region on their first trade team visit. The 24 visitors included soybean buyers from Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Jamaica, Panama, El Salvador, Ecuador, Honduras, Venezuela, and Peru.
The team began their visit in Washington, D.C., with presentations from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).
For their second stop, ISA coordinated visits to the University of Illinois Crop Sciences Department to continue the conversation around conservation. Dr. Giovani Preza Fontes, Assistant Professor and Field Crops Extension Agronomist, presented agronomic topics to the group related to soy cover crops, nitrogen use and loss, water quality, and sustainability. The university beef farm manager, Jackson Matthews, also gave a presentation on the research they are conducting in the livestock space to increase soy consumption.
The soy buyers continued their journey to the ISA Bloomington office for lunch and a briefing from Eileen Urish, International Markets Manager. They ended their busy day on the farm of ISA District 5 Director, Mark Read, in Putnam County. There, Mark gave a tour of his farm and shared the process of farm-to-market from the perspective of a grower.
Several counties in the Americas region are among the largest importers of U.S. soy, with Mexico leading the group in U.S. soy complex imports, which reached approximately 14,266,000 (million metric tons) MMT in marketing year (MY) 2020/21. Jamaica and Columbia also imported a significant amount of U.S. soy in MY 2020/21, reaching approximately 130,366 MMT and 2.03 MMT, respectively.
The ISA Market Development team was proud to take part in strengthening U.S. soy’s relationship with Latin American buyers while also providing the group the opportunity to discuss conservation efforts, international markets, transportation, and the continuation of successful collaboration.