Use of soybeans outside of the traditional foods market has grown in recent years to absorb around four percent of the total U.S. crop, up from two to three percent, but industry groups aim to push that up to 15 percent to 20 percent by 2020.

Soybeans are crushed into vegetable oils for cooking, soymeal that is mainly fed to animals and is also processed into protein sources such as vegetarian foods.

Biodiesel fuel, which mainly uses soyoil as a raw material, is already a burgeoning market in the United States, with production jumping from two million liters in 1999 to 95 million liters last year and forecast to increase to 130 million to 140 million this year, the conference heard. More here.