‘Where the soybean field hits the road’: How new markets are opening up for South Dakota’s 2nd largest crop

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Whether you are walking or driving, you may be relying on South Dakota soybean farmers without even realizing it.

In fact, many South Dakota patrol cars will soon have tires made with soybean oil. South Dakota Soybean Checkoff announced the donation on Thursday.

The Soybean Checkoff is money set aside by producers to be put into research and promotion of soybeans and their by-products. You might be surprised by some of the things they’ve come up with.

You can find soybeans in fields all across South Dakota. Today, the state’s 2nd largest crop is used in more ways than ever before.

“I’ve been raising soybeans since 1985. They’ve come a long ways, I’m really proud of the research that we’ve done with soybeans and soybean oil…this is where the soybean field hits the road,” said Mike McCranie, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council member.

Soybean oil is used to make many products, including some types of Goodyear tires and Sketchers shoes.
Adding new products creates more of a demand for the South Dakota crop.

“As producers, we’ve all lived though tough years, where prices were high and then prices were low, adding diversity to what we can use the products for stabilizes that,” said Gov. Kristi Noem.

In addition to the financial benefits, farmers are proud to see soybean products hitting South Dakota roads.

“To know that the product that I’m growing on my farm is being used by law enforcement, being used in a very safe way to get there and to know that the use of our products are expanding to many areas it’s just exciting to see,” said David Iverson, Secretary of the United Soybean Board.

“I think anytime that we can invest checkoff dollars in places that increases the value of our product, whether it be the soybean oil or the soybean meal. Anytime you can move that up the chain, it’s a big win for everybody,” said McCrainie.

While there are only four different Goodyear tires made from soybean oil on the market right now, they plan to have all their tires using the biproduct by 2040.

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