ISA Special Alert Series Update #5 – Rising Industry Support For HY+Q Varieties
Industry Support Increasing to Reverse Soy Quality Declines
Illinois Soybean Association efforts to reverse the decline in soybean feed quality are building momentum, with national, and now international, seed companies joining the fold.
In addition to staunch support of the checkoff-funded High Yield PLUS Quality (HY+Q) program by LG Seeds and AgriGold, Syngenta leadership also recently announced collaboration with the checkoff on improvements to soybean feed value.
“The soybean checkoff and nutritionists have identified which quality traits best meet livestock customer needs, and we want to help farmers maximize their feed markets with our varieties,” says David Hollinrake, Syngenta Seeds, LLC North America Regional Director & President. He adds that the company has made a commitment to advancing quality traits in its soybean and corn seed to maximize value from seed-to-feed and fuel markets.
Illinois Soybean Association Chairman Doug Schroeder praised Syngenta for being the first multinational seed company to take a public stand for soybean quality.
“Syngenta’s focus will help farmers fight serious market share and revenue losses in critical swine feed markets,” Schroeder says. “Soybean meal in U.S. swine feed rations has dropped 70 percent since 1990, largely replaced by synthetic amino acids and corn byproducts such as DDGS. ISA and HY+Q are dedicated to reversing that trend.”
The HY+Q initiative is designed to increase the feed value of soybeans by encouraging farmers to select and plant varieties that feature high livestock nutritional value, as determined by amino acid profiles. Checkoff research shows that one half of current soybean varieties exceed the high-feed-value threshold.
To date, nationwide checkoff sampling has evaluated more than 50,000 samples for more than 700 varieties.
Newly released data specifically for Illinois includes feed value data from 248 soybean seed varieties and 40,250 soybean samples between 2013 and 2018. Each variety listed was planted in the 2018 Farmers Independent Research of Seed Technologies (F.I.R.S.T.) trials and planted in at least one test plot in Illinois from 2013 to 2018.
This information, along with increased high-value seed company offerings through improved breeding programs, will help farmers more quickly upgrade soybean feed value across the board.
“It’s encouraging to see more seed companies understand the importance of soybean feed value and what it means to soybean farmers and our markets,” says Linda Kull, Ph.D., ISA director of ag innovations. “We’re very excited to work with all companies to embrace the benefits increasing soybean feed value. The positive effects of this work will be felt throughout the value chain. Together, we can enhance our place in the feed market and help deliver a higher-value product to soybean livestock customers.”
Additional discussions to further high-feed-value soybean developments are on-going, so stay tuned.
Meanwhile, you can access a detailed list of top-performing varieties at Soyvalue.com. You may also request test sample kits at this site to see how soybeans grown on your farm stack up when it comes to feed value.
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.