Animal Agriculture

In 2014, the last year for which final statistical data has been compiled, domestic animal agriculture consumed 26.4 million metric tons of soybean meal — by far the largest source of soybean meal demand. Animal agriculture encompasses mainly beef cattle, hogs, broilers, turkeys, eggs, sheep, dairy, and aquaculture. Future soybean demand is tightly linked to the health of these industries.

U.S. animal agriculture has its issues. Per capita meat consumption has been challenged, and consumer demand remains tepid due to the economy. Development of additional production facilities often faces local opposition. And environmental regulations and uncertainties over implementation of the Food Safety Act have further dampened enthusiasm about investment in the sector.

Consequently, actions to maintain and expand animal agriculture in the United States — by supporting its long-term competitiveness – are of critical importance to the soybean sector.

In order to take effective action at the state and local levels in support of animal agriculture, one needs data and analysis on the economic importance of the industry at those levels. The United Soybean Board contracted with Decision Innovation Soliutions to provide current estimates of the economic impacts of animal agriculture at the national, state and local levels.

• Globally, the livestock and poultry sectors are U.S. soybean farmers’ No. 1 customer – consuming 97 percent of U.S. soybean meal.
• Poultry continues to be the single largest domestic user of soybean meal, consuming more than half of all meal, followed by swine, which eat the meal from about one out of every three bushels.
• A checkoff-funded study shows that if soybean farmers increased the protein content in their soybeans by 1 percentage point, they could earn an additional $7.70–$12.96 per acre.
• The national average of protein content for soybeans grown in the U.S. is 34 percent.
Domestic animal agriculture used 26.8 million metric tons of U.S. soybean meal in the 2013–14 marketing year. That’s the meal from more than 1.2 billion bushels of U.S. soybeans.
• In 2014, animal ag supported more than 2.3 million American jobs and added $440 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the checkoff-funded Economic Analysis of Animal Agriculture.

This study provides the most recent data on livestock, poultry, and aquaculture output, their soybean meal usage, and the benefits animal agriculture brings to each individual state and the national economy as a whole.

In Kentucky…

Soybean meal (SBM) plays an important role in animal agriculture in Kentucky, which in turn has a significant impact on the state’s economy.

In Kentucky: Animal agriculture in 2014 used an estimated 467,000 tons of Soybean Meal: 77.6% in broiler production, 8.5% for pork, and 3.9% in egg production; At the state level, animal agriculture represented $7.7 billion in economic output, $1.3 billion in household income, and 38,850 jobs. In addition, it yielded an estimated $339 million in income taxes, and $113 million in property taxes.