By the Num­bers

How the glycine max—an in­nocu­ous mem­ber of the pea fam­ily—be­came the world’s most wildly im­por­tant and en­vi­ron­men­tally dam­ag­ing bean. And why China’s pro­posed levy on im­ports of the U.S. crop would be dev­as­tat­ing to Amer­i­can farm­ers

Newsweek - - Contents -


385,000 square miles

Amount of the planet’s sur­face cov­ered with soy­bean crops.


Amount pro­jected for U.S. soy pro­duc­tion this year, ac­count­ing for nearly half the global mar­ket ($22 bil­lion in 2016), mak­ing it the largest pro­ducer, fol­lowed closely by Brazil.

$255 bil­lion

Es­ti­mated global soy­bean de­riv­a­tives mar­ket by 2020.


of U.S. soy­beans are grown in the up­per Mid­west. Illi­nois topped the list in 2017 at more than 611 mil­lion bushels. Iowa, Min­nesota, North Dakota and Ne­braska made up the re­main­ing top ɿve states.

25 per­cent

Tar­iff that China plans to levy on im­ports of U.S. soy­beans, a re­tal­i­a­tion against the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s trade poli­cies. The re­sult: Prices will fall and mar­ket share will go to Brazil.


Amount spent by China on soy­beans. The coun­try, which is un­able to pro­duce enough an­i­mal feed it­self, con­sumes two-thirds of the world’s prod­uct, mak­ing it the largest im­porter. of soy­beans are con­sumed by peo­ple. Three-quar­ters of the world­wide crop is used for an­i­mal feed.


Amount of pro­tein in one cup of soy­beans. Chicken, by com­par­i­son, con­tains 38 grams per cup. The irony: Ve­gans fa­vor a food that is a prime source of feed for the an­i­mals meat-eaters love.


Brazil­ian Ama­zon ter­ri­tory cleared for soy­bean ɿelds be­tween 2001 and 2006, be­fore the Soy Mora­to­rium, an agree­ment by ma­jor pur­chasers to not buy soy­beans grown on newly de­for­ested land.


Num­ber of pigs China feeds with soy­beans.

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