Soy checkoff, seed company partnership could add $2 billion to soybean farmer profitability
Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 8:00 pm
In a bold, strategic move to expand demand for U.S. soy, the national soy checkoff has authorized the formation of a major industry partnership aimed at growing the market for a promising, healthier soy oil.
“This is what the soy checkoff is all about – maximizing profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers,” says Vanessa Kummer, a former chair of the United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean farmer from North Dakota. “We have an opportunity to expand the acreage for high-oleic soybeans and strengthen U.S. soy’s competitive position in the food and industrial sectors.”
The promising new soy oil, high-oleic, features significantly increased oxidative stability which is critical for high heat applications like frying foods and also contains less saturated fats. This increased functionality will be important for both food and industrial customers.
The partnership accelerates the market development of high-oleic soybeans. It aims to have high-oleic soybeans available in maturity groups that cover up to 80 percent of U.S. soybean acres by 2020. Without the proposal, current industry projections put high-oleic soybeans at five to 10 percent of acres in 2020.
USB is partnering with the two seed companies with high-oleic varieties in the approval pipeline, DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto. The project outlines development of a broader range of maturity groups at a more rapid pace to reach the goal acreage and meet customer demands.
Partnerships with industry stakeholders aren’t new for the checkoff. USB regularly partners with companies, such as John Deere and Goodyear, on projects that will benefit soybean farmers and maximize their profit potential.
Although a five-year project, checkoff farmer-leaders will annually review the project’s impact on farmer profitability before making each year’s financial commitments. Like all checkoff-funded activities, this project is subject to USDA approval, which is pending.
“This partnership will rapidly drive market adoption in key soybean-producing areas,” adds Kummer. “By expanding high-oleic soy’s availability, we are sending the right signals to the entire value chain and helping to develop new markets for our soybeans. This is a strategic move for our entire industry.”
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.
Published in The WCP 12.11.12