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  • April 2019
  • How Other Checkoff Programs Operate: United Soybean Board
U.S. soybean farmers created a national checkoff in 1991. One of the earliest priorities of the board of directors was diversifying market demand for U.S. soy.
ABOVE: The soybean plant is a legume related to peas, clover and alfalfa. Each soybean plant produces 60 to 80 pods, each holding three pea-sized beans.

Exports accounted for every other row of soybeans, but the volunteer directors wanted to ensure they never became too dependent on any one market.

New uses research became a foundational strategy, working in partnership with both public universities and private companies. One of the new uses funded with checkoff investments was a soy-based road sealant.

The project was a partnership between USB and Iowa State University and has resulted in a commercially available sealant that is being used by several state transportation departments.

The head researcher underscored the potential of this new use: “There is 15 tons of soy derivatives per one lane mile of asphalt. In Iowa alone there are 80-thousand lane miles.”

The market growth from this initiative would not have been possible without their checkoff program. For more information on how the soybean checkoff has created new market uses for their commodity product, click here.

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