U.S. farmers seize opportunity with trans-fat solution

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High oleic soybeans deliver innovation in every pod harvested. It’s innovation that provides solutions to some of U.S. soy’s biggest customers and helps build demand for U.S. soybean oil. But, these varieties don’t stop there – they also perform in farmers’ fields.

Just ask Russell Stevens and Jack Leslie. These farmers grew high oleic soybeans this year and saw them meet expectations.

Many years ago, the soybean industry had the foresight to prepare soybean-oil solutions that eliminate trans fats, especially timely with the Food and Drug Administration’s recent trans-fat-ban announcement. Stevens grew high oleic soybeans because they help protect soybean-oil demand and have the potential to expand markets for U.S. soybean farmers.

“The benefits for our end-use customers really attracted me to these varieties,” says Stevens, who farms in Hurlock, Md., on the Delmarva Peninsula. “These varieties help provide the oil our food customers need and help create sustainable demand for U.S. farmers.”

High oleic soybean oil provides much needed functionality for some food customers, without trans fats. It also adds demand from potential industrial markets.

“These varieties open up markets in lubricants and engine oils that weren’t previously available,” adds Jack Leslie, who farms in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. “As soybean farmers, we have to try new things and open new markets to increase our profitability.”

Both Stevens and Leslie were excited about the market opportunities for their soybeans, but needed to see the varieties perform on their farms to believe in their long-term potential. Consider them believers. The varieties were bred with proven genetics so they performed under regional conditions.

“Agronomically, these varieties offer similar pest and disease packages as my other varieties,” says Leslie. “And, we saw them perform comparably with other varieties on our farm and in our area.”

Stevens had similar experiences.

“I tried these varieties first in plots last year and saw them yield really well,” adds Stevens. “They have a good pod set, yielded well and we continue to grow them.”

High oleic soybean varieties are currently being bred to move into expanded soybean growing regions. Farmers in areas of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia can grow them now. To find out more about high oleic soybeans, visit http://www.soyinnovation.com/.

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