Economic Implications of Cleaning Soybeans in the United States
by William Lin
Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-737) 50 pp, September 1996
Overall, the costs of delivering cleaner soybeans on a universal basis exceed domestic benefits. The cost of cleaning export soybeans beyond current levels at the least net-cost locations (both river elevators and inland subterminals), at minimum, exceeds domestic benefits by $26 million per year. However, a small percentage of producers could lower soybean foreign material (FM) with no or little additional cost by changing harvesting and handling practices. Most FM originates from the farm. Although soybean cleaning is not common, producers can alter production and harvesting practices to reduce FM, which mainly consists of plant parts, broken beans, weed seed, and dirt. One strategy to address the soybean cleanliness issue is to create incentives for producers to alter production and harvesting practices, such as better weed control and combine adjustment.
Keywords: Soybeans, foreign material (FM), grain quality, cleaning, costs, benefits, premiums, discounts
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