In a history-making move, the soy checkoff has entered into agreements with DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto to help put high oleic soybean varieties into the hands of farmers across the U.S. soy-growing region.
The contracts call for each company, both of which hold high oleic patents, to roll out these varieties to farmers in additional maturity groups more quickly than they had originally planned.
“Usually, you don’t see seed-technology companies entering into agreements like this with their customers,” said Jim Stillman, chairman of the United Soybean Board (USB) and a soybean farmer from Emmetsburg, Iowa.
“These collaborations show how committed the soybean industry is to developing quality, high-yielding high oleic soybean varieties and to developing the markets for them.”
High oleic soybeans deliver an oil with increased functionality for some customers when compared to commodity soybeans.
USB first identified this need for improved functionality in soy oil in the late 1990s. Soybean breeders have since researched and identified traits that will improve soy’s functionality for end-users. The soy checkoff has set an aggressive goal of achieving 20-25 million acres planted to high oleic soybeans by 2023.
The agreements outline development of high oleic varieties in maturity Groups I to V to help reach that goal. Without checkoff support, high oleic expansion would move much more slowly, limiting development to varieties in late maturity Group II and early maturity Group III.
“Thanks to these agreements, high oleic soybeans will benefit more U.S. soybean farmers and the entire U.S. soy industry more quickly,” said Stillman. “This type of innovation will improve the competitiveness of U.S. soy throughout the globe.”
For more information from the USB, visit http://www.unitedsoybean.org/.
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