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Iowa’s Agricultural Relationship to China

Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2012 at 6:26 am
Author: KCII News - Brad Gaspelin

Iowa is building a cooperative relationship with China in terms of agriculture. On Wednesday a Chinese delegation signed 15 contracts to purchase soybeans from the United States, most of those soybeans coming from Iowa and Illinois, the two biggest producers of soybeans in the US. This is not the first time a Chinese delegation has traveled to Iowa to sign soybean contracts, but a ceremony is held to highlight the growing relations between the two countries. China’s Vice President, and soon to be President, Xi Jinping traveled to Iowa this week and stopped at a Soybean and Corn Farm. It isn’t a one way relationship either. DuPont, a Des Moines based company with a plant in Mt. Pleasant, announced a new research hub that will be opening in China, says DuPont Vice President based in Bejing, Dr. William Niebur. He says the innovation made there will be used in Iowa’s future fields. But, partnering with China could have downsides for area farmers. With China looking to increase yields based on a system modeled from Iowa, the United States could lose business from a country that, according to the Ainsworth Co-op, is the biggest importer of Soybeans from the United States. But Niebur says as China experiences a higher standard of living that comes from a better agricultural system, they will look for more protein in their diets, which could mean good things for Livestock producers in the state.