Special Alert #6 How Do Seed Companies Support HY+Q Program?
Producers and Seed Companies Will Drive Adoption Of Soybean Varieties with High Livestock Feed Values
The checkoff-funded High Yield + Quality initiative, undertaken by the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) over the past three years, is catching the attention of seed companies. These companies want to be involved in offering more soybean varieties featuring added performance potential in livestock feed. In the end, it will be producers who heed this market call, plant these varieties and drive increased demand for them.
The objectives of this soybean checkoff-funded effort are to increase quality and help recapture lost soybean meal value and market share in swine and poultry feeds. The first critical step, of course, is to identify those varieties that offer this increased value. Fortunately, that has already been accomplished.
Tools and Protocol Established to Advance Top Varieties
“The sampling, testing and analysis tools are in place to accurately identify these higher-value varieties,” said Chuck Hill, Specialty Products Manager for Ag Reliant Genetics, whose varieties are sold under the AgriGold and LG brands. “We can now measure this value.”
That’s great news for soybean end users, such as cost-conscious livestock producers, who seek maximum-quality soybeans with higher amino acid content to more efficiently finish out swine and poultry. Higher quality soybeans featuring improved livestock feed value will also benefit directly or indirectly others in the commodity chain, including farm managers, landowners, agricultural bankers and seed companies.
Hill has worked for 20 years developing and expanding added-value corn markets such as waxy, food-grade, non-GMO, high-extractable starch and high-oil corn, for example. Soybeans, he says, are behind corn in better capturing specific market demands, but the trend is underway and gathering momentum. “From a seed company perspective, we don’t want to wait for growers to come to us first demanding these varieties,” Hill said. “We want to get ahead of the curve.”
Genoa, Ill., soybean producer and ISA director Paul Rasmussen noted that, since 1990, up to 70 percent of soybean meal has been replaced in animal feed by synthetic amino acid formulations or other amino acid sources. “We need to make our soybean meal more competitive and retake as much of this market share as possible,” Rasmussen said. “The HY+Q program, with it’s emphasis on improved livestock feed values, is a very positive step in that direction. The focus needs to be on not only protein but also amino acid profiles.”
Seed Companies Taking Closer Look at Amino Acids
Rasmussen stressed that soybean producers need to aggressively plant these specific varieties. “We already have the varieties identified that bring this extra performance to livestock producers,” he said. “We need the seed companies to look at amino acid profiles and to develop new varieties so farmers will have a wider range of choices when choosing which varieties to plant. “We need for soybean producers to take the next step and plant these varieties.”
Farmers can go to the Soybean Variety Information page to see the rankings of selected soybean varieties from a number of seed companies.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean growers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, 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.