Soybean and Livestock Go Hand in Hand

US - Livestock and poultry consume about 98 percent of domestically used soybean meal, making them the No. 1 customer for U.S. soybean producers.
calendar icon 4 April 2008
clock icon 3 minute read
Soybean harvest

It's always a good idea to know more about one's top customer, which is why the United Soybean Board and the soybean checkoff funded research to identify SBM usage by state. Knowing SBM usage by state allows soybean farmers to see the value livestock and poultry bring, both to their state's soybean industry and their state and local economies.

"It's important to realize what a big customer animal agriculture is for soybean farmers," says Tom Brown, USB director and a farmer from Morral, Ohio. Brown sees the connection between soybean farmers and livestock producers firsthand, as his brother serves on the National Pork Board.

The top 10 SBM-consuming states in ranking order are Iowa, North Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, Minnesota, Alabama, Mississippi, California and Oklahoma. Each of these states boasts a strong animal agriculture economy.

One interesting trend is that most top SBM-consuming states do not grow much of their own soybeans. Of the top 10 SBM-consuming states, only Iowa and Minnesota are producing enough soybeans to meet the demands of their livestock and poultry producers.

The top 10 soybean-producing states are Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota and Kansas. Together those states account for nearly 59 million acres of soybean production.

"Animal agriculture is vitally important to soybean farmers, but it is also important to rural America," says Brown. "Livestock and poultry production adds revenue to rural America in the form of income tax, property tax and employment."

To learn more about the top SBM-consuming states and how they are the number one customer for soybean farmers, visit You can click on Supporting Studies and Data and use the Production Map tool to see how your state ranks in soybean acres; SBM utilization; and beef, dairy, pork, poultry and sheep production.

USB is made up of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

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