Nebraska’s governor and a host of Midwestern agricultural and business leaders are on a trade trip to China. Ray Bardole is chairman of the U.S. Soybean Export Council.
Bardole says he’s spending a lot of time reassuring the Chinese as they’re raising concerns about our region’s prolonged drought.
“As we have met with folks from the government as well as the Chinese media and our customers themselves that is absolutely the very top thing on their mind is, ‘What is the dry weather going to do to our supply? Are we going to be able to buy soybeans to meet the needs for feeding our livestock?'” Bardole told reporters during a conference call this morning.
He notes, the Chinese imported 10.4-billion bushels of U.S. soybeans last year.
“We have had to tell them that, ‘Yes, we are in a very, very serious drought, but we also are a very large country and we do grow soybeans across a very, very wide range,'” Bardole said. “There will be beans that are very, very good beans and there are going to be beans that aren’t very good, but our beans are made with August rains and I’ll assure you that we have everyone praying here for August rains for our crops.”
Bardole farms soybeans in Iowa. The trip marks the 30th anniversary of a trade relationship with China.
About 45% of the soybeans China imports comes from the U.S.