ISA Special Alert Series Update #2 – New Soybean Variety Value Data Now Available
Farmers Can Access ISA Variety Data to Protect Farm Revenue
An updated list of high-feed-value soybean varieties is now posted at on this site to help farmers make more fully informed seed selection decisions that help counter farm revenue losses from synthetic feed ingredients in critical livestock markets.
The new data is offered by the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) as a continuation of the ongoing checkoff-funded High Yield PLUS Quality (HY+Q) program. The HY+Q program encourages the selecting and planting of soybean varieties with the highest nutritional value for our largest market sector – livestock.
The list includes feed-value data from 248 soybean seed varieties and 40,250 soybean samples between 2013 and 2018. It ranks varieties according to feed-value scores. Feed value is based on the levels of seven essential amino acids that are most important to livestock nutritionists when formulating feed rations.
These varieties represent soybean farmers’ best options to reverse revenue losses and protect livestock feed market share from synthetic amino acids and other grains.
Results range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest), with results at or above a value score of 5.5 representing a variety that had higher-than-average value for livestock consumption.
“Because of declining soybean feed value over the past 30 years, livestock producers – especially in swine – have significantly increased the amount of synthetic amino acid products and other grains in rations at the expense of soybean meal,” says Linda Kull, Ph.D., director of ag innovations for the ISA. “Not only does this affect market share and the industry’s future, this drop in soybean inclusion rates negatively impacts farmers’ bottom lines today.”
Kull emphasizes that soybean producers should include feed value as an important part of their seed-selection criteria. “Nearly half of soybean varieties available today offer superior feed value, and most of these varieties also feature high yield potential and the most desired agronomic traits.
“If you are debating between two varieties, choose the variety with the higher feed value,” she suggests. “This is the fastest, most effective way to help reverse the declining feed-value trends that are working against soybeans in livestock markets.”
Visit soyvalue.com to view the list of high-value varieties, learn more about the High Yield PLUS Quality program (HY+Q) or to request a sample kit for your 2020 soybeans.
Losses in the Billions
A single example from a 90,000-sow swine operation represents the magnitude of the challenge and cost facing soybean growers if soybean feed value continues to decline. Swine operation nutritionists actively monitor soybean feed value – defined by amino acid content – and source feed ingredients accordingly because those are essential nutrients needed by animals to maximize growth and productivity.
Over a 10-year period, this swine operation:
- Decreased soybean meal by 6,222 semi-loads (25 tons per load) annually
- Increased corn/corn byproduct purchases by 6,060 semi-loads annually
- Increased synthetic amino acid product purchases by 46 semi-loads annually
If corn byproducts replace soybeans in soybean meal due to use of low feed value soybeans, then these purchasing decisions affected 155,550 tons or 7,069,747.50 bushels of soybeans and 151,500 tons or 5,410,714.29 bushels of corn.
This chart (Figure 1) shows the estimated value for each crop and the sales loss to growers due to reduced soybean meal purchases by the livestock operation. Note that the gains to increased corn/corn byproduct inclusion do not make up for the losses in soybean sales.
Any time that soybean utilization and market share are reduced, the influences of supply and demand impact the price of your soybeans and therefore farm income, just as the reductions in exports to China have reduced the selling price of your soybeans.
Figure 1: Estimated Gross Farm Revenue Losses from Declining Swine Feed Inclusion Rates
||Soybeans: 7,069,747 fewer bushels purchased
||Corn/corn byproducts: 5,410,714 more bushels purchased
|Farm Revenue Loss*
*These annual figures are taken from a 90,000-sow herd operation that reduced soybean meal purchases while increasing corn/corn byproduct and synthetic amino acid purchases at the same time. The financial results are shown in today’s dollars. The example assumes it takes 45.5 bushels of soybeans to make a ton of soybean meal and that corn equals 56 pounds per bushel.
Keep in mind these figures represent one year’s purchases for one hog operation. Multiply this example across the swine industry and the lost revenue adds up to billions of dollars over time.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean growers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean innovation and profitability efforts, issues analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C. through the Illinois Soybean Growers. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace. For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org.