Soybean growers in Central Illinois are being offered a unique opportunity to participate in a farm-direct marketing program and earn premium prices for their 2005 crop.

Sponsored by the Illinois Soybean Checkoff, the new Soybean Quality Rewards (SQR) program is designed to help Illinois farmers meet the growing demand for soybeans with increased protein quality and high levels of oil.

Farmers who grow and deliver soybeans in the Gibson City area can enroll all or part of their 2005 acreage in the SQR program. Participating farmers will deliver their harvested beans to The Solae Company facility in Gibson City, where each load will be tested. Farmers will earn a premium of up to 6 cents for every bushel that meets targeted levels for protein and oil content.

There are no variety restrictions or special handling requirements for program crops. Farmers are free to grow any varieties that they expect will deliver the targeted levels of protein and oil.

SQR marketing programs are also being offered in six other areas of Illinois and Indiana. Receiving facilities participating in the program are Bunge's Danville, Shawneetown and Cairo facilities, Archer Daniels Midland's Quincy and Galesburg facilities, plus Consolidated Grain & Barge's facility in Mt. Vernon, Ind.

Source: Association Release