You expect the seeds you plant to meet high standards. Soybeans have to perform, and they need to fit your system for managing pests and weeds. As you make seed decisions for next year, take a look at varieties that meet those tough standards and create demand for soybeans.
Specialty soybean varieties are one way to bring in extra revenue, but farmers want options that can yield competitively with their commodity soybeans. The soy checkoff continues to work with seed companies to bring competitive high oleic varieties to market in more maturity groups. These varieties make a difference for end-use customers and can stack up against top commodity varieties in the field.
John Motter has grown high oleic soybeans in northwest Ohio for five years.
“They are hearty and emerge better each year in our fields,” he says.
Farmers growing high oleic across the country report that the varieties perform competitively when compared with commercial varieties and can be managed similarly for pests and weeds.
“You really can’t tell a difference from a production standpoint,” says Bill Beam, a farmer growing high oleic in southeast Pennsylvania. “I encourage farmers to give it a try – you really don’t do anything differently, other than, obviously, you have to keep high oleic separate from your conventional soybeans. So, I don’t see any reason not to grow it.”
The soybeans shown below are a side-by-side comparison of commodity and high oleic varieties.
Demand and opportunity
High oleic soybeans produce premium soybean oil that end-use customers want. Increased functionality at high temperatures and shelf stability mean the product can fill a need that can’t be met by commodity soybean oil.
You can see the difference in the restaurant fryers above. Soybean oil (commonly called vegetable oil) meets certain food-industry needs but not all of them. While it works well in salad dressing, baking and other products, it is not ideal for frying. After using it in a fryer, it looks murky because the oil breaks down, which creates a cleaning challenge and alters the food’s taste.
High oleic soybean oil, on the other hand, keeps fryers clean and preserves food quality and taste at high temperatures. It also lasts longer, which is good news for restaurant owners.
High oleic is an opportunity for soybean farmers to think beyond supply and grow a product that customers really want. Kevin Wilson, who has grown high oleic for three years in Indiana, says the product will open the door for some markets that the soybean industry will need moving forward.
“I believe in the potential that this product has once we get everyone on board with it,” he said.
High oleic soybeans are available in 11 states for 2016. Visit soyinnovation.com to find out if high oleic soybeans are right for your farm. Processor contracts for 2016 will be available soon, and some processors accept harvest delivery of high oleic. Contact your seed rep to find out about the high oleic soybean varieties and maturity groups available for your area.