Illinois farmer Phil Bradshaw is serving this year as Chairman of the United Soybean Board. He says he's very optimistic about the U.S. soybean industry in 2010.
"Last year we were able to complete the mapping of the genome of the soybean," Bradshaw said. "That's going to give our researchers, both public and private, the greater opportunity to expand new traits and increase yields, increase protein and oil. So I think we are on the verge of great things happening in the soybean industry."
Bradshaw says that includes the area of exports, which he thinks will hold throughout 2010 with the possibility of increasing over last year. In 2009, the U.S. exported 55% of its soybeans and Bradshaw says he thinks we'll hold pretty close to that this year. But despite Bradshaw's optimism about 2010 he says there are still challenges to overcome.
"We've always got to keep expanding our relationships," Bradshaw said. "We've got to keep looking for ways to leverage our checkoff dollars. If we can work with other groups to make those checkoff dollars do more, we're going to do it."