At the holiday season, we are again reminded of those less fortunate than ourselves. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 1 billion people go hungry every day, and with the United Nations predicting the population to top 9 billion by 2050 this number will surely increase. The UN also claims the growing global population means that agricultural production may need to increase by 70 percent using the same amount of land and water.

An impressive 82 percent of U.S. soybean farmers polled in a recent soybean checkoff-funded survey said they felt a responsibility to feed the global population. The United Soybean Board provides U.S. farmers with tools and support to help them in their desire to help feed this growing population.

“It’s encouraging, but not surprising, to see the number of U.S. soybean farmers who know it is part of their mission to feed the world,” says Chuck Myers, a soybean farmer from Lyons, Neb., and past USB chairman. “The soybean checkoff will do its part to provide tools to help U.S. soybean farmers with this.”

One example of this support that USB provides to the increase food production is through production research. In 2009, soybean checkoff-funded research helped to map the soybean genome. This milestone will help researchers expedite the development and release of new soybean varieties. USB also established standards in seed varieties that claim soybean cyst nematode resistance to ensure U.S. soybean farmers receive the best tools to protect their yields from this pest. In addition, soybean checkoff funds assisted in the development of drought-tolerant soybeans.

“These advancements in research are important in increasing U.S. soybean production to meet global demand,” adds Myers. “This coming challenge will present a great opportunity for U.S. soybean farmers.”

The soybean checkoff’s Biotechnology Initiative also plays a role in giving U.S. soybean farmers the tools they need to feed the growing population. This initiative works to improve market access for U.S. biotech soybeans and to educate about the importance biotech crops will have in feeding the world.

“U.S. soybean farmers have an important responsibility in producing a safe, reliable food supply for our growing population,” says Myers. “The soybean checkoff will support these efforts through issues such as research, market access and creating demand and preference for U.S. soy.”

Source: United Soybean Board