Style & Usage Guide

AcreAlways use the number of acres in copy to be published, broadcast or posted in the United States. One acre = 43,560 square feet = 208.7 ft.2 = 0.405 hectares; or 640 acres = 1 square mile (a section).

Agricultural (adj.)The scientist conducted a variety of agricultural research projects.

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)The USDA agency that has oversight of the soybean checkoff program. AMS administers programs that facilitate the efficient, fair marketing of U.S. agricultural products, including food, fiber, and specialty crops. Use AMS on subsequent references.

Agriculture (n.)The student majored in agriculture.

Agriculture DepartmentSee “United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)” entry.

Agriculture Research Service (ARS)The USDA agency that conducts agricultural research, including a significant amount financed by the soybean checkoff. Use ARS on subsequent references.

AgronomyThe science of crop production and soil management.

AllergenicityThe state of hypersensitivity of the body’s immune system in response to exposure to specific substances (allergens), such as pollen, bee stings, poison ivy, drugs or certain foods.

American Soybean Association (ASA)National, not-for-profit, grassroots membership organization for soybean farmers with headquarters in St. Louis. ASA’s mission is to increase market opportunities and value for U.S. soybean farmers through domestic and international policy advocacy, based on direction set by farmer members. Use ASA on subsequent references.

Amino AcidsAmino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is essential for human growth and maintenance. Of the 20 amino acids humans require, the human body produces 11 and the remaining nine must come from food. Soy protein provides all nine missing amino acids, making it a complete protein. The soybean represents the only oilseed offering a complete protein profile.

Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)The USDA agency charged with ensuring the health and care of animals and plants. Use APHIS on subsequent references.

Annual MeetingThe USB Annual Meeting takes place in December of each year, as part of the organization’s December Board of Directors Meeting.

AphidSmall yellow insects that damage soybean plants by sucking sap from the plant and are capable of transmitting harmful viruses to the plant.

Asian Soybean RustSee “Rust” entry.

Audit & Evaluation CommitteeUSB support committee charged with the audit and evaluation of all soybean checkoff activities. Two percent of USB’s approved program budget automatically funds this committee. This committee also ensures that all activities are conducted in an ethical manner. Use A&E only on subsequent references in internal communications. Can use “USB Audit and Evaluation program…” for external audiences.

B100 or “Neat fuel”pure, 100 percent, biodiesel fuel.

B20A blend of 20 percent biodiesel fuel and 80 percent petroleum diesel. Other common blends include B2, B5 and B10. Include description in print, broadcast and internet copy. See also “Biodiesel blend or Bxx” entry.

BQ9000A cooperative and voluntary program for the accreditation of U.S. biodiesel producers and marketers. The National Biodiesel Board carries out this program.

Beancast®USB’s weekly podcast with original content that discusses current issues related to the soybean checkoff.

Best management practicesA conservation practice or combination of practices designed to maintain agricultural productivity while reducing environmental pollution.

Beta ConglycininAlso written as B-conglycinin, it is one if the categories of protein molecules that is produced within the soybean seed. Typically B-conglycinin constitutes 5% of the given soybean however, some varieties posses higher or lower b-conglycinin fractional content. Lower content varieties tend to be better in manufacturing tofu while higher content are better for manufacturing soy-protein drinks. Research indicates some human health benefits like lower blood triglycerides from consumption of significant amounts of beta conglycinin.

Beyond the Bean On-Air®Name used for USB’s quarterly news magazine television show that communicates checkoff information to U.S. soybean farmers.

Beyond the Bean®USB’s flagship magazine to communicate checkoff information to U.S. soybean farmers. Beyond the Bean® brand is also used in broadcast and internet copy and is registered with the U.S. Patents & Trademarks office and can be used only with permission from USB.

BiodegradabilityCapability of decomposition by natural biologic processes. For example, biodiesel degrades about four times faster than petroleum diesel.

BiodieselA variety of clean-burning, ester-based oxygenated fuels made from renewable sources, including soybean oil, other vegetable oils and animal fats, for use in compression-ignition (diesel) engines. Biodiesel may be used instead of petroleum diesel in cars, buses and boats without any modifications to the conventional diesel engine. Biodiesel is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a fuel or fuel additive, and is a legal fuel for U.S. commerce. Use soy biodiesel when referring to biodiesel made with soybean oil.

Biodiesel blend or BxxPure biodiesel fuel blended with petroleum diesel. Blends are referred to as Bxx, with the xx signifying the percentage of biodiesel in the blend (e.g., a B5 blend is 5 percent biodiesel and 95 percent petroleum diesel).

BiotechnologyThe use of living organisms or other biological systems to develop food, drugs or other products. Do not capitalize by itself. Use instead of “GMO” or “transgenic” such as “Soybean varieties improved through biotechnology….” “Biotech soybeans…..” is acceptable.

Biotechnology InitiativeThe USB initiative devoted to addressing global biotech issues.

Board meetingUSB full board meetings take place three times a year. The USB Executive Committee may call additional meetings. Refer to “USB December Meeting” or “USB July Meeting” (also see “USB Meeting” entry).

Board of directorsUSB directors are soybean farmers nominated by QSSBs (see separate entry) and appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for three-year terms. The size of the board is based on average soybean production in each state.

Burn down (v.)Farmers will burn down the weeds before planting.

Burndown (n.)The farmer planted his soybeans after burndown.

BushelA dry volume measure of varying weight for grain, fruit, etc, equal to four pecks or eight gallons (2,150.42 cubic inches). A bushel of soybeans weighs 60 pounds.

Bushel/acreTo abbreviate use bu./acre. When referring to the amount of a substance in a bushel, spell out per bushel. Example: There are 11 pounds of oil per bushel of soybeans.

CONNECTIONSStrategic planning meeting held every two years for state and national soybean checkoff and association organizations to set industry-wide priorities. USB hosted the first CONNECTIONS meeting in 2002.

CapitalizationPlant varieties, breeds of animals and trade names of products are capitalized. The kind of plant, animal or product is not: Vernal alfalfa, Angus cattle, Warrior insecticide. Also, USB capitalizes committee names and titles (even when not before individual’s name), which is an exception to The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law guidelines.

ChairUse when referencing farmer-leaders of USB committees “…says United Soybean Board (USB) Communications Chair Vanessa Kummer, a soybean farmer from Colfax, N.D.”

ChairmanUse only to refer to the top two officers of the USB Executive Committee or when referring to a Past Chairman: USB Chairman Phil Bradshaw or USB Vice Chairman Marc Curtis

CheckoffOne word. Research and promotion programs authorized by law and financed by assessments. The programs are paid for by specified industry members such as producers, importers and handlers. The soybean checkoff, for example, is funded by a mandatory assessment of 0.5 of 1 percent of the net market price for a bushel of U.S. soybeans. With oversight by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, a U.S. producer poll is conducted every 5 years to determine if producers favor the conduct of a continuance referendum. Soybean checkoff should not be capitalized or hyphenated. Reference soybean checkoff in copy leads as much as possible. For consumer-oriented copy, it should be referenced along with an explanation. Example: The soybean checkoff, a research and promotion program funded by U.S. soybean farmers, conducted research on the link between soy protein consumption and reduced risk of heart disease.


Cholesterol-freeAlways hyphenate.

Cold-stress testHyphenate cold-stress

CombineA self-propelled machine for harvesting grain and other seed crops. In one operation, it cuts, threshes, separates and cleans the grain and scatters the straw.

Communications CommitteeUSB program committee charged with coordinating and carrying out checkoff communications activities. Can use communications program for external audiences.

Composition or compositional qualitySoybean components include meal, oil and hull.

Concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO)A lot or facility, together with any associated treatment works, where both of the following conditions are met: (1) animals have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period, and (2) crops, vegetation, forage growth, or post-harvest residues are not sustained over any portion of the operation lot or facility. The definition is used as part of waste management and environmental protection laws to deal with the concentrated pollution from large quantities of animal waste.

Conservation tillageAny tillage and planting system that leaves at least 30 percent of the soil surface covered by residue after planting to assist in the reduction of soil loss. Conservation tillage techniques include minimum tillage, mulch tillage, ridge tillage and no-till.

Cost-effectiveAlways hyphenate.

CountyCapitalize with proper name (St. Louis County) and lowercase as plural (McHenry and Story counties).


CrackingThe breaking of the whole seed into several pieces to facilitate dehulling and flaking.

Crop residueThe portion of a plant, such as soybean stubble or cornstalks, left in the field after harvest.

Crop rotationThe practice of growing different crops in recurring session on the same land.

Crop yearThe year in which a crop is harvested. For soybeans and corn, the crop year is designated from September 1 to August 31.

CrossbreedingAn agricultural breeding technique mixing thousands of genes carried from the pollen of one plant to a related plant to produce a desired trait or traits in a new variety.

Crude soybean oilSometimes referred to as crude raw soybean oil; the unrefined oil produced by any one of the procedures described for the extraction of oil from soybeans.

Crushing marginThe difference between the cost of whole soybeans used for processing and value or price of the soybean meal and oil derived from crushing.

DatesJune 23 and Aug. 30. See AP Stylebook for abbreviation guidelines. Date numerals should not include suffixes – e.g. Aug. 30, not Aug 30th

Defatted soy flakesSoybean flakes produced by the nearly complete removal of the oil from soybeans. Defatted soy flakes are the basis of a variety of soy protein products, including soy flour, soy concentrates and soy isolates.

DehullingThe process of removing the outer covering from grains or other seeds.

DietitianMost standards prefer this form of the word over dietician.

DirectorCapitalize the first letter in director when used as a title directly before a person’s name. Ex: “USB Director Russ Carpenter”. Lowercase director when used after the person’s name. Ex: “Mike Beard, a director serving on USB.”

Disease abbreviationsCapitalize on second references, with no periods: SCN, MDMV, MCLD, CLN.


Domestic Marketing CommitteeUSB committee charged with increasing the domestic utilization of U.S. soy. Use DM on subsequent references only in internal communications. Can use USB domestic marketing program for external audiences.

Double-cropAlways hyphenate. The practice of consecutively producing two crops on the same land within the same year. An example of double-cropping is when a farmer harvests a wheat crop by early summer and then plants soybeans on that acreage for harvest in the fall. This practice is possible in regions with long growing seasons.

Dr.Use only on first reference if referring to a medical doctor. If referring to someone who holds an academic doctorate’s degree, use “Ph.D.” on first reference (i.e. “….according to Seth Naeve, Ph.D. of the University of Minnesota”). “Dr.” is allowable on subsequent references (i.e. “…Dr. Naeve and his colleagues completed the survey in October.”)

Drought stressDo not hyphenate. The stress experienced by a plant due to lack of rainfall or moisture.

EEFalso known as the USB “Effective, Efficient, Farmer-Driven” logo. See Graphic Standards section.

Edamame/green vegetable soybeansThese large soybeans represent a specialty variety. Farmers harvest them when the beans are still green and sweet tasting and can be served as a snack or main vegetable dish. Edamame contains a high amount of protein and fiber.

End userOnly hyphenate when used as an adjective.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)The agency of the U.S. government that is charged with protecting human health and safeguarding the natural environment—air, water and land—upon which life depends.

ErosionThe process in which water or wind moves soil from one location to another.

Essential fatty acidsFatty acids necessary for human health that can only be obtained from dietary sources. These types of fatty acids are not produced by the human body. Soybean oil contains two essential fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic.

Executive CommitteeUSB Executive Committee consists of ten elected members made up of USB officers and directors. The USB Immediate Past Chairman also serves ex-officio on the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee acts in the stead of the Board of Directors when the Board is not in session.

FarmerUse instead of producer or grower. Example: USB New Uses Chair Marty Ross, a soybean farmer from Delmar, Del.

Farmer-director or farmer-leaderAlways hyphenate.

Fatfat-fried, full-fat, low-fat, defatted.

FertilizerAny organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to soil to provide nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, necessary to sustain plant growth.

Fiscal yearExample: on first reference use Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 2011). On subsequent uses, use FY 2011.

Food-gradeTerm used to describe a type of commodity grown for human consumption.

Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)Agency of USDA that conducts some soybean market promotion efforts in foreign countries through programs designed to build new markets and improve the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace. Use FAS on subsequent references.

Free on Board (FOB)In international trade, this means the seller pays and includes in the price the cost for the goods and all costs to get them onto a vessel.

FungicideA chemical substance used as a spray, dust or disinfectant to kill fungi infesting plants or seeds.

GeneA unit of the cellular material that is the physical basis for the transmission of the characteristics of living organisms from one generation to another.

Genetically modified organism (GMO)See biotechnology. Always use biotech or biotechnology instead of GMO.

GenomeThe total hereditary material of a cell that constitutes the entire chromosomal set, found in each nucleus of a given species. In general-interest publications, “genome” is the genetic material of an organism.

GermplasmA small circular form of DNA containing certain genes capable of replicating independently in a host cell.

Global Opportunities CommitteeThe USB support committee charged with the task of ensuring U.S. soy remains competitive in global – domestic and international – markets. Use GO on subsequent references only in internal communications. Can use USB global opportunities program for external audiences.

Global Positioning System (GPS)Use GPS in subsequent references.

Glyphosate-tolerant soybeansSoybeans enhanced through biotechnology to survive the application of herbicide with the active ingredient glyphosate, which is often referred to by the trade name, Roundup. The glyphosate-tolerant trait can also be referred to as Roundup Ready technology.

HeadlinesCapitalize major words in headline. Lowercase: the, in, or, and, to, is, etc. If one of the words is hyphenated, both parts are capitalized.

Health careAlways use two words.

HectareA unit of surface measure in the metric system. One hectare is equal to 2.47 acres. Always convert hectares to acres for copy published, broadcast or posted online in the United States.

HerbicideAny agent of chemical used to destroy plants, especially weeds.

Herbicide-tolerant soybeansSoybeans enhanced through biotechnology or traditional breeding techniques to survive the application of one or more herbicides.

High oleicSoybean composition quality that does not require hydrogenation, a process that makes soybean oil functional in many foods but also produces undesirable trans-fatty acids.

High valueOnly hyphenate when used as an adjective.

Home pageAlways use as two words. The main screen or page, or the first page, on a website.

HullThe tough outer skin of a soybean. A major source of dietary fiber, the hull is processed to create a fiber additive for breads, cereals and snacks. Livestock feed is also produced using soybean hulls.

HybridOffspring from parents of different species or genera that differ in genetically determined traits.

HydrogenationThe process of chemically adding hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst to the unsaturated “hydrogen-short” portions of a natural fat. The addition of hydrogen reduces the reactivity of the fat toward oxygen and thus stabilizes and retards rancidity development in the fat. Hydrogenation usually raises the melting point of a fat or changes it from a liquid oil to a solid fat. Partial hydrogenation is the degree to which a fat is hydrogenated. Completely hydrogenated fats are solid and, therefore more stable. Partially hydrogenated fats are used in various applications, such as crackers and baked goods.

Identity preserved (IP)A process by which a crop is grown, handled, delivered and processed under controlled conditions to assure the customer that the crop has maintained its unique identity from farmgate to end use. Use IP on subsequent references.

InsecticideA pesticide used to kill, deter or control insects.

International Marketing CommitteeUSB committee charged with increasing utilization of U.S. soy in foreign markets. Use IM on subsequent references in internal communications only. Can use USB international marketing program to external audiences.

International Soybean Growers Alliance (ISGA)Alliance made up of soybean growers and industry representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and the United States who share a commitment to meet the rapidly increasing world demand for quality and healthy soy products produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Use ISGA on subsequent references.

InternetAlways capitalize the first letter.

IsoflavonesOne of the five chemical classes of anticarcinogens found in soy. Isoflavones are chemically similar in structure to estrogen, and in fact, are weak estrogens. The two primary isoflavones in soybeans are daidzein and genistein. Soybeans and soyfoods have attracted much attention because they are unique as the only nutritionally significant dietary sources of isoflavones.

LegumesA family of plants that includes many valuable food and forage species such as soybeans, peanuts, clovers, alfalfas and beans.

LibertyLink® soybeanshe brand name of crops, including soybeans, cotton, corn and canola, developed by Bayer CropScience and enhanced through biotechnology that can be sprayed with the herbicide Ignite® without harming the crops.

Linoleic acidOne of the two polyunsaturated fatty acids found in soybean oil. Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids can lower blood lipid levels and thus lower cholesterol. Soybean oil contains approximately 50 percent of this essential fatty acid.

Low-linolenicSoybean composition quality that stabilizes flavor in foods.

Low-phytateSoybean composition quality that has the potential to reduce animal waste problems.

Marketing yearThe marketing year for soybeans runs from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31. Marketing years can be denoted by 2009/10 marketing year or 2009-10 marketing year.

Maturity groupThere are 13 recognized maturity groups in soybeans. Groups are classified by the amount of time that it takes for soybeans to mature.

Mid- to late-season

Mid-oleicOil with many beneficial characteristics, including longer shelf life and increased stability.

MidSouth Soybean BoardCoalition of QSSBs from the MidSouth that invest in checkoff-funded research and promotion activities.


Million metric tons (MMT)Often used metric version to measure U.S. soybean usage or exports. Convert to bushels with conversion chart.

NanotechnologyThe engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. Often mentioned when speaking about the process of improving frying methods when using soybean oil to reduce trans fats or acrylamides.

National Biodiesel Board (NBB)Not-for-profit organization headquartered in Jefferson City, Mo., that manages several soy-based biodiesel research and promotion efforts funded by the soybean checkoff. NBB works to advance the interests of its members by creating sustainable biodiesel industry growth. Use NBB on subsequent references.

National FFA Organization (FFA)Previously known as Future Farmers of America, the National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Refer to FFA after first use.

Nematode-resistantA plant variety trait that describes tolerance of small, usually microscopic, roundworms that feed on underground plant parts.

New Uses CommitteeUSB committee charged with developing new soybean uses. Use NU on subsequent references in internal communications only. Can use new uses program to external audiences.

North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP)Coalition of 12 Midwestern QSSBs that invest in checkoff-funded research and promotion activities to improve soybean performance through cooperative research and education. Use NCSRP on subsequent references.

Oilseed cropsIncludes soybeans, peanuts, cottonseed, sunflower seeds, canola and mustard seeds used to produce edible and/or non-edible oils, as well as high-protein animal meal.

Oleic acidA monounsaturated fatty acid. An oil high in oleic acid is stable and resists rancidity. Oleic acid also contributes to increased shelf life of the oil.

Organic farmingOrganic farming is a production system that avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulations, biotechnology-enhanced seeds and livestock feed additives.

Osborn & Barr (O&B)One of three USB primary contractors. O&B conducts and coordinates communications activities for USB. Use O&B on subsequent references.

PercentConsult AP Stylebook

PesticideA substance used to kill, control, repel or mitigate any pest.

Petrochemicalshemicals and products that use toxic petroleum largely from imported crude oil. Use this terminology in copy only for agricultural or industrial audiences.

Petroleum-based productsProducts that contain toxic petroleum largely from imported crude oil. Use this terminology on copy for non-farm, consumer audiences.

Ph.D.See entry under “Dr.”

PhytophthoraA microscopic soilborne organism that causes root rot in a wide variety of plant species, including soybeans.

Plant Health InitiativeA program established by the North Central Soybean Research Program to serve as an information resource for Midwest soybean farmers and a coordination resource for soybean research. Visit for more information.

Plants/acreDo not abbreviate. Spell out each word.

PolyolA base material for the manufacturing of rigid and flexible polyurethane foam that can be made of soybean oil.

PostemergentThe time after a plant breaks the soil surface.

Precision farmingFarmers use global positioning system (GPS) technology involving satellites and sensors on the ground and intensive information management tools to understand variations in resource conditions within fields. They use this information to more precisely apply fertilizers and other inputs and to more accurately determine crop yields.

PreemergentThe time before a plant breaks the soil surface.
Emerge (v.)
Emergence (n.)

ProcessorFacility that separates the seed into usable components such as oil and protein.

ProducerUse “farmer” instead.

Production CommitteeUSB committee charged with providing basic and applied soybean research for maximum return on farmer investments. The committee also improves soybean technology transfer within the United States and facilitates research coordination. Use Production on subsequent references in internal communications only. Can use USB production research program to external audiences.

Publication titlesConsult AP Stylebook.

QUALISOYAlways capitalize entire word. QUALISOY is an industry coalition, uniting all levels of the soybean value chain, to create added value and increased global competitiveness for the U.S. soybean industry through the development, commercialization and promotion of enhanced quality traits. Visit for more information.

Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs)Farmer-run boards in states that have been qualified by USDA to conduct soybean checkoff research and promotion programs. Use QSSB on subsequent references.


ReapportionmentA process undertaken by USDA every three years to determine the average soybean production of each state, which, in turn, determines the number of directors each state has on USB.

ReferendumA poll conducted by USDA to determine if producers want to continue a producer funded checkoff program.

Regulatory agencies (FDA, EPA, USDA)Agricultural biotechnology is regulated by three federal agencies: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). FDA policy is based on existing food law and requires that biotech foods meet the same rigorous safety standards as are required for all other foods. EPA analyzes technical issues presented by advances in biotechnology and synthesizes these technical issues with laws necessary to develop regulatory programs for products enhanced through biotechnology. Within the USDA, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is the government’s lead agency regulating the testing of new, biotechnology-derived plant varieties. A company, academic or research institution, nonprofit organization or public-sector scientist wishing to field test a biotechnology-derived plant must generally obtain APHIS approval before proceeding.

Request for ReferendumAn inquiry to producers who pay into a producer funded checkoff program to determine if a referendum is desired. For the soybean checkoff, a Request for Referendum period is required every five years.

Roundup Ready® soybeansThe brand name of the soybeans enhanced through biotechnology developed by the Monsanto Company that can be sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate, also known by the trade name Roundup®, without harming the crops.

Row crop

RowsHyphenate inch rows: 30-inch; 7.5-inch rows.

SeasonPeriod of time 2009-10; 2009/10




SegregationA farming practice of separating crops and harvested agricultural produce and grains for discrete delivery based on a category, class or grade.

Select Yield & Quality (SYQ)Initiative started by USB to improve the oil and protein content of soybeans grown in the northwestern soybean-producing areas. While the initiative no longer receives separate and distinct funding from USB, the organization’s program areas continue to communicate the importance of planting soybean varieties that produces soybeans with at least 19 percent oil and 38 percent protein.

ShatteringTerm used to describe when the pods of soybeans shatter or break apart prior to the soybeans being harvested.

Shelf lifeThe length of time a product lasts on the shelf before becoming rancid. The more stable a soybean oil is, the longer the shelf life of the finished product and the oil.

SmithBucklinOne of three USB primary contractors. SmithBucklin manages the USB Domestic Marketing, New Uses and Production program areas.

Southern Soybean Research Program (SSRP)Coalition of five Southern QSSBs that pool checkoff dollars to coordinate and fund production research projects that benefit the southern soybean-producing region. Use SSRP in subsequent references.

Soy 2020A checkoff-funded organization charged with positioning the U.S. soybean industry as the global marketplace leader. Soy 2020 engages representatives from virtually every soy stakeholder group to collaborate across the industry. For more information, visit

Soy Transportation Coalition (STC)An organization established by seven state soybean boards, the American Soybean Association, and the United Soybean Board that provides information and education on behalf of the U.S. soybean industry on shipping and transportation issues to help sustain a competitive global position and enhance its profitability. Use “STC” on subsequent references.

Soy biodieselSee “biodiesel” entry. Use “soy biodiesel” when confirmation can be made that soybean oil represented the feedstock used to produce the “soy biodiesel” in reference.

Soy inkTwo words. Never use soybean oil ink or soybean ink. “Soy ink” refers to ink in which the oil carrier for pigment is predominantly soybean oil.


SoySealOne word, with “S” capitalized in both instances. The red, white and blue emblem, registered by the American Soybean Association, demonstrating that soybean oil was used in the making of an industrial product, such as soy ink. See Graphic Standards section of the Communications Standards Manual for usage guidelines.

Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information ActLaw, sometimes referred to as SPARC, passed by Congress as part of the 1990 federal farm bill that governs the soybean checkoff.

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN)A parasitic, threadlike worm that causes serious damage to underground soybean plant parts, thus reducing yields. Use SCN on subsequent references.

Soybean meal or soy mealEither form is acceptable. See Bushel Equivalent Tool for guideance on how to refer to soybean meal volume use in copy.

Soybean oilSoybean oil is the natural oil extracted from whole soybeans. It is the most widely used plant oil in the United States and is sold as either pure soybean oil or as an ingredient in vegetable oil. Processed into margarine and shortenings, soybean oil’s 85 percent unsaturated fat profile is among the lowest of the vegetable oils. See Bushel Equivalent Tool for guideance on how to refer to soybean oil volume use in copy.

Soybean rustdisease caused by the fungus phakopsora pachyrhizi. Soybean rust causes lesions to appear on the plant, which leads to premature defoliation and decreased yields. This disease spreads through spores transported by wind currents and on clothing or other materials.

Soybeans, wholeWhole soybeans are the edible seed of the soybean plant. They are light tan or yellow in color, belong to the legume family and are native to East Asia.

SoyfoodsAlways one word.

SoymilkA beverage made from soybeans.

SpokespersonsUse USB officers, Executive Committee members, Committee chairs and board members as often as possible as spokespersons.

StatesFollow AP Style for public communications. Follow U.S. Postal Service abbreviations for internal communications.

Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS)A soybean disease that causes yield losses through premature plant death, pod abortion, lack of pod fill and low test weight. The disease has proven to be a root rot problem, though named for the rapid progress of foliar symptoms on a susceptible cultivar under favorable environmental conditions.

SuperbugsA slang term for insects and other pests that could develop a resistance to the insecticides intended to eliminate them.

SuperweedsA slang term for weeds that could develop a resistance to the herbicides intended to eliminate them.

SustainabilityDefined by the soybean checkoff as meeting the needs of the present while improving the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by (1) adoption of technology and best practices which increase productivity to meet future needs while being stewards of the environment; (2) improving human health through access to safe, nutritious food; and (3) enhancing the social and economic well-being of agriculture and its communities.

Sustainability InitiativeThe USB initiative devoted to addressing the issue of sustainability as it pertains to U.S. soybean farming and the U.S. soybean industry.

Team LeadThe lead USB director on any USB initiative.

Telephone numbersUse: 800/989-USB1 (800/989-8721); FAX: 636/530-1560

The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media LawAlso known as the AP Stylebook, the book provides fundamental guidelines on copy spelling, grammar, punctuation and usage. Serves as the official style guide for all USB communications.

TitlesCapitalize. Examples: USB Vice Chairman Marc Curtis, a soybean farmer from Leland, Miss.; USB Production Chair Rick Stern, a soybean farmer from Cream Ridge, N.J.

TraceabilityA process by which end users are able to trace back agricultural products to the farmer or producer and the production methods used.

TrademarksUse trademarks when appropriate for USB-funded products or programs.

Traditional plant breeding (mass selection)An agricultural breeding technique in which superior plants are saved or inferior plants are eliminated during a growing season to amass planting stock seeds intended for future seasons.

TraitA characteristic of an organism that manifests itself through physical attributes.

TransgenicA type of organism formed by inserting foreign genetic material into the cells of an organism. Recombinant DNA techniques are commonly used to produce transgenic organisms. Use biotechnology or biotech instead of transgenic.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)Federal department that oversees the soybean checkoff. Use USDA on subsequent references.

U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC)One of three USB primary contractors. ASA and USB formed USSEC in 2005. USSEC manages the International Marketing program area for USB. Use USSEC on subsequent references.

U.S. Soybean Federation (USSF)National, not-for-profit, grassroots membership organization for soybean farmers formed in 2009 that works to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and the soybean industry are provided the maximum opportunity for success in the global marketplace through policy and advocacy efforts. Use USSF on subsequent references.

USB MeetingUse instead of “USB Board Meeting” (repetitive).

USB StaffUSB strives to ensure the soybean checkoff remains farmer-driven, therefore USB strongly discourages public communications of USB staff other than the Chief Executive Officer or the Executive Director.

Unified Export Strategy (UES)The annual market development plan submitted by the international marketing program which indicates the international development programs, projects, objectives and strategies of USDA FAS cooperator groups.

United Soybean Board (USB)On first usage, the United Soybean Board. Use USB on subsequent references. Do not use “the USB.”

Vegetable oilsA naturally occurring fat or oil derived from a plant. Soybean oil is one of the most commonly used vegetable oils in the United States.

Weak verbsAvoid using “is, was, were, are” in all copy and use action verbs instead, i.e. ”The United Soybean Board held its meeting in St. Louis this week…” and not “The United Soybean Board was in St. Louis this week for a meeting…” or “U.S. soybean farmers participated in the See for Yourself program…” and not “U.S. soybean farmers were participants in the See for Yourself program…”

World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH)An organization headquartered at the American Soybean Association in St. Louis with the goal to find new opportunities for U.S. soy in programs that help feed the hungry and to stimulate demand for U.S. soy leading to long-term sustainable development.

World Soy Foundation (WSF)A 501(c)3 humanitarian corporation formed in 2006 by the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) to develop strategic partnerships with donors and implementers by funding programs that use soy to reduce malnutrition worldwide.

World Trade Organization (WTO)The international organization composed of the more than 100 nations that signed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. WTO permits signatory countries to ban specific imports from other countries in order to protect the health of humans, animals or plants.

World Wide WebUse on all printed USB communications materials. Italicize all web addresses in all print and online materials. In broadcast use unitedsoybean-dot-org.

farm billLowercase at all times: The U.S. Congress created the soybean checkoff as part of the 1990 farm bill, or The 1990 farm bill included other provisions such as the section that created the soybean checkoff.

soyconnection.comCheckoff-funded website aimed at providing information about soyfoods and USB to food industry representatives, consumers and consumer-oriented media.

websiteone word; all lowercase.