Interim Nebraska Ag Director Mat Habrock says the deal helps boost demand for Nebraska soybeans and it fits the Bulgarians’ need for high-quality protein.
“These nine companies have about 2.7-million metric tons per year of capacity and they’re only currently using about 2-million metric tons,” Habrock says. “There’s clearly a big opportunity there with upwards of 700,000 metric tons to be utilitized and potential for our soybean farmers here in the state.”
Habrock says new relationships helped spark this deal and create opportunity for long-term business for Nebraska’s soybean growers.
“This created the opportunity for us to go over and ask for their business and build that relationship with them, but now we have an opportunity for long, ongoing conversations and discussions to build the friendship between these companies and the state of Nebraska to continue to support their needs and to create ongoing markets for our products here in Nebraska,” he says.
Habrock says trade is critical, given the state of the ag economy and low commodity prices.
“When 95% of the world’s customers lie outside of our borders, we’ve got to go out and seek those customers and find those markets for our products,” Habrock says. “Governor Ricketts has been adamant and very supportive of looking for opportunities to support trade of Nebraska’s agricultural goods.”
Bulgaria has been a member of the European Union for ten years. The E.U. was Nebraska’s third-largest export market for soybeans and soy products in 2015.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton