High oleic soybeans have been available in Delaware since 2014. With more farmers growing this specialty soybean each year, Kevin Evans, a soybean farmer from Bridgeville, thought 2016 might be time to give it a try.
As it turns out, it was. Evans won the Delaware 2016 statewide double crop yield award with 73.51 bushels per acre of his Pioneer 42T71 Plenish beans.
“As a U.S. farmer, I have to be open minded about new markets and changes in the agriculture industry,” said Evans. “Since high oleic soybean oil presents a potentially different market share, I felt I should at least try them to see if the soybeans worked on our operation. I also wanted to support something that will make us more diversified.”
Farmers previously lost 4 billion pounds of annual soybean demand due to trans-fat labeling. High oleic can help farmers regain some of that lost market volume and expand into additional markets by meeting the needs of many users as a zero-trans-fat replacement for partially hydrogenated oil.
High oleic soybean varieties are packed with the same agronomic traits and performance that farmers expect from their traditional soybean varieties. Farmers continue to see high oleic yield competitively in their fields year after year. Evans did not notice any difference in performance between his traditional and high oleic soybeans.
“Everything was about the same as our traditional soybeans, and we were very happy with the yield,” says Evans. “Our region offers a premium, so we had two huge pluses this past growing season.”
In markets like we have today, the modest premium paid for high oleic soybeans becomes even more attractive for farmers to increase their on-farm profitability.
“The processor in our area was offering a 50-cent premium per,” said Evans. “If you’re looking at 60 or 65 bushel irrigated crop, that’s an extra $30 to $35 you can receive. That goes a long ways with the tight profit margins we’re seeing now.”
With the success he experienced last year, Evans says he plans to continue growing high oleic soybeans this year and in years to come.
The soy checkoff views high oleic soy as an opportunity to position the U.S. soy industry into the future and add to farmer profitability. As high oleic soybeans become more popular around the United States, the soybean industry’s goal for high oleic soybeans is 18 million planted acres.
If the industry reaches 18 million acres, high oleic soybeans will be the fourth-largest grain and oilseed crop in the United States, behind corn, soybeans and wheat.
Information for this article courtesy of Delaware Soybean Board.