Japan has been buying soybeans from the United States for more than 60 years. And, about 60 percent of the soybeans imported each year come from the United States.
Illinois is the top soybean-producing U.S. state, home to the Chicago Board of Trade, about 4.2 million hectares of soybean fields and a comprehensive transportation infrastructure. Illinois farmers raise a consistent supply of high-quality soybeans that are grown sustainably and delivered efficiently.
Japanese soybean buyers visit Illinois to see the soybean industry in person. The Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program connects potential customers with farmers and other members of the Illinois soybean industry.
Illinois soybean farmers are learning about new ways to understand the value and quality of their soybeans. At the same time, they constantly improve soybean production to use less energy and land to grow high-quality crops. For example, in 2017, they raised a record 16.7 million metric tons of soybeans.
Because every major form of transportation connects in Illinois, they can efficiently deliver soybeans around the world. More than 1,770 kilometers of navigable waterways and 11,200
kilometers of train tracks allow for bulk shipping from Illinois.
The state also has 22 loading facilities that fill shipping containers, accounting for around 8 percent of Illinois soybeans.