Earlier this summer, one instance of higher-than-allowed fungicide residue in a shipment of U.S. soybeans to Japan threatened to destabilize U.S. soy’s trade relationship with that country. Luckily, the soy checkoff had a study ready to show that the excess fungicide was just an anomaly, restoring Japan’s faith in the safety of U.S. soybeans.
"We fund studies that support the sale of U.S. soybeans around the world," says Dwain Ford, United Soybean Board (USB) director and soybean farmer from Kinmundy, Ill. "In this case, because USB partners in Japan had a full agricultural chemical analysis of the 2011 U.S. soybean crop in hand, they were able to assure the Japanese importer that this was a unique occurrence and avoid a trade disruption with our third-largest export market."
The 2011 crop analysis, funded by USB’s Global Opportunities program and completed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), analyzed statistically representative export samples of the most recent soybean crop. It found no violations of agricultural chemical residue levels in U.S. soybean exports. According to reports, the fungicide in question has never been detected in a GIPSA analysis of U.S. soybeans.
Ford says the study can help solidify the U.S. soy’s reputation to all international customers.
"This study helps to protect U.S. soybean exports and assure our customers that we provide a safe, high-quality product year after year," says Ford. "Services such as the agricultural chemical residue study really help us to set our soybeans and our services apart from competitors of U.S. soy."