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Key Topic – Corn and Soybeans

Animal agriculture is the largest customer for the U.S. soybean and corn industries, and red meat exports are critical to the viability of animal agriculture in the United States. Soybean and corn producers recognize the importance of red meat exports to their own profitability, and are strong supporters of USMEF. About 8% of USMEF’s total funding comes from the soybean checkoff and about 7% from the corn checkoff.

Every pound of U.S. pork exported represents the utilization of about 0.91 pounds of U.S. soybean meal. Every pound of U.S. beef exported represents the utilization of about 2.6 pounds of U.S. feedgrains.

In July 2020, USMEF released an updated version of the independent study aimed at quantifying the value red meat exports provide to U.S. corn and soybean producers. The original study was conducted in 2016 with updates also released in 2018 and 2019. Key findings from the latest version, which utilizes 2019 export data, are highlighted in this USMEF press release. These findings include:

Value of Red Meat Exports’ Feed Use of Corn and Soybeans

  • In 2019, U.S. beef and pork exports used 480 million bushels of corn. Corn revenue generated by pork exports totaled $1.8 billion (480 million bushels x average annual price of $3.75/bushel).
  • In 2019, U.S. pork exports used 2.12 million tons of soybean meal, which is the equivalent of 89.2 million bushels of soybeans. Soybean revenue generated by pork exports totaled $751.7 million (89.2 million bushels x average annual price of $8.43/bushel).
  • Beef and pork exports also used about 3 million tons of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in 2019 at an annual average price of $137/ton. This generated $411.8 million in revenue for ethanol mills’ co-products.

Value to U.S. Corn and Soybean Crop from Red Meat Exports

  • In 2019, beef and pork exports contributed more than 12% of the per bushel price of corn ($0.46/bushel) of an annual average price of $3.75/bushel. With total production of 13.62 billion bushels, the value of pork exports to the U.S. corn crop was $6.26 billion.
  • In 2019, pork exports contributed 9% of the per bushel price of soybeans ($0.76/bushel) of an annual average price of $8.43. With total production of 3.55 billion bushels, the value of pork exports was $2.7 billion to the U.S. soybean crop.

More details on U.S. red meat exports’ value to corn are available in this slide presentation and handout.

More details on U.S. pork exports’ value to soybeans are available in this slide presentation and handout.

Handouts detailing the impact of red meat exports on the leading corn-producing and soybean-producing states are also available from the USMEF website.