Market Development

U.S. Soybean Farmers Fill Global Demand


The soy checkoff invests every North Dakota soybean farmer’s investment to increase soy use by customers beyond the elevator, including international users. U.S. soy exports have grown steadily for the past 20 years. This growth (forecast by exporters and importers of U.S. soy to continue) can be attributed in part to soy-checkoff-funded efforts to build international sales of U.S. soy. As part of these U.S. farmer-funded activities, the North Dakota Soybean Council (NDSC) works to cultivate new markets or growth in existing ones.


The vast majority of soybeans grown in North Dakota are shipped by rail to the Pacific Northwest and are destined for southeast Asia, which is why international marketing continues to be a priority for the board. NDSC continues to annually fund projects, host international trade teams and build relationships with other countries to learn more about international market demands and soy needs overseas.


Essential Amino Acids Project (EAA)


PrintThis project (funded by the North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota state soybean boards) is designed to educate buyers in the soybean market to recognize critical amino-acid values rather than crude protein as the true indicator of the soybean feeding value. The goal is to no longer discount northern-grown soybeans due to the lower crude protein.  To learn more about EAA, click here.


World Initiative for Soy in Human Health


The American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) is the North Dakota soybean growers’ trailblazer for trade in long-term markets. U.S. soybean farmers founded WISHH in 2000 to develop long-term markets for U.S. soy while fueling economic growth and value chain development.


The WISHH Program introduces U.S. soy to developing and emerging markets through work in 28 countries throughout Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.


The North Dakota Soybean Council’s support of WISHH’s programs has helped foreign companies commit to purchasing both U.S. food grade soybeans for their products and other businesses increase their purchases of U.S. commodity soybeans.


Through WISHH, soybean farmers are making an important investment to build soy protein demand and a preference for U.S. soy in countries that are home to some of the fastest growing populations in the world.

U.S. Soybean Export Council


Working jointly as the U.S. Soybean Export Council, the following stakeholders open markets and grow demand for soy products around the world:

  • Soybean farmers
  • Commodity shippers
  • Identity-preserved value-added merchandisers
  • Allied agribusiness
  • Agricultural organizations

Northern Crops Institute


Northern Crops Institute (NCI) is a collaborative effort among North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota to promote and develop new markets for crops. The NCI is an international meeting and learning center that brings together crop buyers, commodity traders, technical experts, processors and farmers from all points of the globe for discussion, education and technical services.


The NCI is housed on the campus of North Dakota State University in Fargo, only minutes from the fields that produce the crops the institute promotes. NCI short courses enable participants from around the world and across the U.S. to learn about northern-grown crops and their unique quality, marketing and processing characteristics.

Woman showing soybeans to men in soybean field

NDSU Commodity Trading Room at Barry Hall in Fargo


The Commodity Trading Room is a high-technology room with live information feeds for financial information including equities and credit, plus commodity market information such as agriculture, energy and biofuels.  The ND Soybean Council is a proud supporter of this project.


The CTR features:

  • A trading room atmosphere with market information displays
  • Thirty-two seats with computers and access to information and software
  • Access to information from Thompson-Reuters and other information providers
  • Trading/analytical software and trade simulation packages to allow direct trading on a live platform
  • Position report software
  • Commodity logistics software, such as EKA and Triple Point
  • Software for risk analysis, forecasting and logistics


Click here to check out the Commodity Trading Room on YouTube


The Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA)


The Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA) is the premier business alliance of U.S. companies focused on production, processing, and shipping of specialty soya and grains worldwide. Its mission is to provide resources that communicate the quality, diversity, and availability of identity-preserved soya and specialty grain products.