How are high oleic soybeans performing?
Farmers have been reporting high oleic soybean yields on par or better than their farms’ average. That’s because high oleic soybeans are equipped with the same elite genetics and advanced defensive traits as commodity soybean seeds. They are also planted and harvested exactly the same way.
There are currently two suppliers of high oleic soybean seed:
- DuPont Pioneer, which offers seed under the Plenish® brand name
- Monsanto, which offers seed under the Vistive® Gold brand name
Who can grow high oleic soybeans?
Ohio is one of 10 states that have the grain facilities to accommodate high oleic soybean production, along with Indiana, three counties in Illinois, Michigan, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
For more information, visit soyinnovation.com.
Why is there market demand for high oleic soybeans?
The oil from high oleic soybeans offers several distinct advantages to customers in both food and commercial industries, including:
- Reduced amounts of saturated fat, plus zero trans fat
- Withstands high temperatures associated with cooking and industrial applications
- Doesn’t break down as quickly as other oils, which can alter the taste of foods
- Better stability and longer shelf life when used in processed foods
Are buyers willing to pay a premium for high oleic soybeans?
They are planted and harvested exactly the same way. And high oleic soybeans provide growers a premium over commodity soybeans. This means that switching some or all of your soybeans to high oleic soybeans provides a new revenue stream for your operation.
In fact, the only difference between raising commodity soybeans and high oleic soybeans is that you must agree to keep your high oleic soybeans separate during harvest, storage and handling.
Do high oleic soybeans depress prices for conventional soybeans?
No. U.S. soybean farmers have seen shrinking demand for soybean oil every year since the onset of mandatory trans-fat labeling, losing market share to sunflower, canola and palm oils. High oleic soybeans offer farmers an opportunity to gain back 4 billion pounds worth of demand for soybean oil from food, industrial and export customers. Because there is a market for both commodity soybeans and high oleic soybeans, all farmers will benefit from an increase in demand.
What Ohio farmers are saying about high oleic soybeans
John Motter has grown high oleic soybeans on his northwest Ohio farm for four years. In fact, Motter believes in high oleic soybeans so much that he dedicates 100 percent of his soybean acreage to them. “Four years in, and I’m still seeing yield parity with commodity soybean farmers in my area,” he says. “As farmers, we need to meet our needs, but we also need to deliver what the customer is asking for. That’s why I grow high oleic, and I think others should join me.”
Bret Davis raised 250 acres of high oleic soybeans this year. “Food companies want this oil,” Davis points out. “It’s domestic oil, better for frying and it’s lower in saturated fats, which is something we all need.” Davis, who also sells high oleic soybean seed, says breeders have done a good job of developing high oleic varieties to compete with commodity soybeans. “They have really pushed the genetics on these high oleic soybeans, and there is no yield drag at all. They are a really great bean to invest in.”
Where can I learn more about growing high oleic soybeans?
The first thing to do is find out if anyone is buying high oleic soybeans in your area. For a list of elevators that are currently accepting high oleic soybeans, visit soyinnovation.com and contact your Pioneer or Monsanto seed dealer to find out which high oleic soybean varieties are available in your area for 2016.