Study: Soy Checkoff ROI is Up

Courtesy of the United Soybean Board

According to a recent independent economic study, the soy checkoff continues to translate farmer investments into significant benefits for U.S. soybean farmers. The results of the 2019 return-on-investment (ROI) study, which is required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that U.S. soybean farmers received $12.34 in added value for every dollar they invested in the soy checkoff.

“These have been some of the toughest years to be a soybean farmer,” said USB Chair Jim Carroll III. “We have to be wise and careful with our investments in this business, and I’m proud that our soy checkoff continuously adds value to our industry.”

The ROI was conducted by Dr. Harry Kaiser, a leading research expert at Cornell University in the field of agricultural economics and its application to commodity checkoff programs.

“The study finds that USB’s activities have had a positive and significant impact on soybean demand between 2014 and 2018,” Dr. Kaiser said.

Key findings included:

  • U.S. soybean farmers received $12.34 in added value for every dollar they invested in the soy checkoff over the last five years.
  • Every dollar U.S. soybean farmers invested in international promotion activities produced $17.95 in return value.
  • Soy checkoff investments made toward demand-enhancing research and promotion returned an average value of $18.18.

Collaborative soy checkoff investments in production research that leverage industry and academic partners continue to provide promising returns to U.S. soybean farmers, returning an average value of $9.42.

These estimates were reached using econometric models of domestic and international soybean markets that allowed the research team to net out the impacts of other important factors — such as other crops, substitute commodities, income, exchange rates and economic conditions
in importing countries — to determine the estimated impact of the soy checkoff’s work and investments.

Specifically, the study analyzed the demand- and supply-enhancing activities funded by the soy checkoff between 2014 and 2018.

USB’s 78 volunteer farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. 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 unitedsoybean.org.

Find the entire April issue of Missouri Soybean Farmer here.