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WASHINGTON -- Better soybean quality improves demand for U.S. soybean meal, and better demand can increase the price farmers receive. To move the needle on quality, the United Soybean Board (USB) and the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee (MSPC) are working together to share this message with Michigan soybean farmers.

Boosting the value of Michigan's soybean crop starts with farmers. By growing seed varieties with higher protein content, farmers can increase soybean demand and value. This is because the animal agriculture sector, soybean meal's No. 1 customer, prefers meal high in protein. More demand from animal ag creates more value for processors and elevators, which can pass some of that value back to soybean farmers.

"Michigan soybeans are recognized by many customers for their high quality. Growers are wise to learn about factors of high quality and position themselves to access premium markets as they develop," said MSPC Research Coordinator, Mark Seamon.

MSPC and USB partnered recently to hold an event at the Michigan State University (MSU) Entomology Field Research Center. The event included speakers from MSU, who talked with soybean farmers about the importance of high-quality soybean meal. Dale Rozeboom, Ph.D., a professor and extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at MSU, talked about soybean quality from the animal ag standpoint. Mike Staton, MSU Extension senior soybean educator, explained how to make agronomic choices that support soybean quality.

"It is important for the national and state soy checkoff organizations to work directly with the farmers who are making seed decisions each year," says Herb Miller, USB director and soybean farmer from Niles, Michigan. "This event provided an opportunity for soybean farmers in Central Michigan to interact with the experts, who can explain why soybean quality matters to the farmers' customers, and ultimately the farmers themselves."

Farmers should ask their seed dealer or visit www.GrowSoybeanValue.com to find varieties that will produce greater protein without sacrificing yield. Learn more about why quality matters at www.BeyondTheElevator.com.

The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soybean meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy's customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org.

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