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Soybean Conference Comes to the Quad Cities

The world's largest gathering of soy industry professionals is being held this week in the Quad Cities. Starting Monday, more than five hundred people from around the world will attend the U.S. Global Soy Trade Exchange and Midwest Specialty Grains Conference and Trade Show at the RiverCenter in Davenport.

A member of the United Soybean Board, Larry Marek from Riverside, Iowa, says although this is the first time the event has been held in the Quad Cities, he hopes it won't be the last.

"It's kind of right in the heart of our two top producing soybean states," said Marek. "Iowa or Illinois is generally top. There are a lot of soybeans that are produced throughout the Midwest, but it's just a good location. And this way they can see, there's going to be some side tours, they've seen some soybeans being raised on farms. If they have questions as to what crop looks like, and that sort of thing, they can take a first-hand view."

Marek says nearly 200 international buyers from 40 countries are in the Quad Cities this week, to meet with soy bean distributors. Subjects include how the crop is produced and transported, as well as how much of an effect this summer's drought will have on the harvest.

"A lot of our soybean trade is foreign sales to other countries," said Marek. "China, as well as a lot of other countries in Southeast Asia, as well as Mexico. There's a lot of customers that are here. And they're very important to our economy, to our trade with soybeans. Because if we don't have customers, we're going to have a lot of soybeans sitting around without a lot of good use."

The U.S Global Soy Trade Exchange and Midwest Specialty Grains Conference and Trade Show started Monday, and runs through Wednesday at the RiverCenter in Davenport.