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Farmers seize opportunity with trans-fat solution

by jmaloni

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Sat, Nov 16th 2013 07:00 am

High oleic soy's innovation proves successful in multiple locations

High oleic soybeans deliver innovation in every pod harvested. It's innovation that provides solutions to some of U.S. soy's biggest customers and helps build demand for U.S. soybean oil. But, these varieties don't stop there - they also perform in farmers' fields.

Just ask Russell Stevens and Jack Leslie. These farmers grew high oleic soybeans this year and saw them meet expectations.

Many years ago, the soybean industry had the foresight to prepare soybean-oil solutions that eliminate trans fats, especially timely with the Food and Drug Administration's recent trans-fat-ban announcement. Stevens grew high oleic soybeans because they help protect soybean-oil demand and have the potential to expand markets for U.S. soybean farmers.

"The benefits for our end-use customers really attracted me to these varieties," said Stevens, who farms in Hurlock, Md., on the Delmarva Peninsula. "These varieties help provide the oil our food customers need and help create sustainable demand for U.S. farmers."

High oleic soybean oil provides much-needed functionality for some food customers, without trans fats. It also adds demand from potential industrial markets.

"These varieties open up markets in lubricants and engine oils that weren't previously available," adds Leslie, who farms in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. "As soybean farmers, we have to try new things and open new markets to increase our profitability."

Both Stevens and Leslie were excited about the market opportunities for their soybeans, but needed to see the varieties perform on their farms to believe in their long-term potential. Consider them believers. The varieties were bred with proven genetics so they performed under regional conditions.

"Agronomically, these varieties offer similar pest and disease packages as my other varieties," says Leslie. "And, we saw them perform comparably with other varieties on our farm and in our area."

Stevens had similar experiences.

"I tried these varieties first in plots last year and saw them yield really well," he says. "They have a good pod set, yielded well and we continue to grow them."

High oleic soybean varieties are currently being bred to move into expanded soybean growing regions. Farmers in areas of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia can grow them now. To find out more about high oleic soybeans, visit www.SoyInnovation.com.

The 69 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy's customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

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