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How Much Does Soy = Deforestation?

Positive Future #274 (Feature photo – Trucks Transporting Soybeans in Brazil – CCA 3.0 Brazil) One of the most important crops in the world is soybeans. The world farms over 300 million acres of soybeans each year. Much of the growth in soybean acreage is tied directly to global deforestation. One of the most important uses of soybeans is to feed meat animals. Recently, the growth of soybeans in Brazil has led to a destabilization of water systems. Soy acreage in the ecological sensitive region called the Cerrado has grown by almost 24 million acres over the past 7 years. That is equal to a farm that is 10 miles…

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Russia Offers China 2.5 Million Acres for Soybeans

Touch the Soil News #1107 (Feature photo – Soybeans – photo courtesy of USDA) The South China Morning Post reported that Russia has offered 2.5 million acres of farmland (suitable for soybeans) to foreign investors – primarily China. The trade war between the U.S. and China is going beyond just issues of trade, but international politics as to who is friends with who. 2.5 million acres represents a farm that is 50 miles wide and almost 800 miles long. While the land may not be the best or have good transportation infrastructure, the price may be right. Development of this farm by Chinese means that U.S. farmers may out of…

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Why Soybeans Matter Today

Touch the Soil News #1017 (Feature photo – A Variety of Soybeans – USDA) Soybeans are the foundation of the world’s meats. Soybeans are used to feed poultry, pork, beef, and fish. As the U.S. prepares for a trade war with China, China is taking aim at America’s heartland where soybeans make or break American Agriculture. China consumes 1/3 of the world’s soybeans – most of which is imported from the U.S. and Brazil. The U.S. and Brazil produce 80 percent of the world’s soybeans. In short, a trade war with China could destabilize global supplies of soybeans undermining food security for literally billions of people. In a destabilized soybean…

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Consumption of the Quiet Giant – Doing the Math

Touch the Soil News #912 (Feature photo – Soybeans – GNU Free Doc License) Soybeans represent one of the largest acreage crops in the U.S. – consuming roughly 30 percent of U.S. prime cropland. Because of their nutritional profiles, soybeans are the baseline crop that underpins the global meat and egg industry. In the U.S., one acre of soybeans produces about 2,550 lbs. of soybeans. This year, China is expected to import, from several different nations including the U.S., approximately 214 billion lbs. This would require land and water of about 84 million acres. Each year, for the past 10 years, Chinese imports of soybeans have increased by about 13.2…

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China – Where Will Food Come From?

Touch the Soil News #706 Bloomberg News recently reported that China is scratching its head as to how to feed its 1.4 billion people in the future. China can’t feed its people today on its own as it must import millions of tons of staple crops each year. The problem is that by 2050 there will be another 2 billion people (besides the Chinese) that the world will have to feed. Much of China’s original farmable land has been urbanized, industrialized and polluted, leaving it unable to feed itself. China has 290 million acres of prime farm ground – roughly two tenths of an acre per person. The U.S. has…

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China / U.S. Food Tremors

Touch the Soil News #608 Hitting the Chinese political landscape is farmland. China is grappling with how much farmland they must have for primary crops. Land for primary crops (arable) does not include pasture for livestock that has limited food capacity. Today, China has about 329 million acres of primary crop land – about the same as the U.S. has. Trouble is, China has four times as many people to feed as does the U.S. China’s goal of permanently preserving a core amount of farmland equal to 300 million acres is important, but not enough. The U.S. is rattling sabers on implementing higher import fees on Chinese imports to the…

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China – Looking for Food

Touch the Soil News #279 While Chinese national and corporate interests now own millions of acres in countries around the world – including chunks in the United States, these resources are not enough to feed its 1.4 billion people. Estimates are that China controls between 12 and 15 million acres in other countries for food production. However, while that may sound like a large number, there are other ways that China gets food into its nation – outright purchases of basic agricultural commodities that are imported. For the 2015 agricultural season, it is projected that China will import 80 million metric tons of soybeans. Soybeans are the foundation feed for…

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