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Discovering the advantages of northern-grown soybeans

Radio Transcript from Minnesota Farm Network, On the Farm radio show with Tom Rothman

ST. PAUL, Minn. (3/12/2012) —This is Bev Durgan on the Farm. Traditionally, Asian buyers tended to discount Minnesota soybeans because of low crude protein numbers. Today these buyers are learning to look at more than crude protein and that is good news for Minnesota soybean growers.

The crude protein levels of soybeans planted further north tend to be lower. With support from the soybean check off, University of Minnesota researchers are working with colleagues in North and South Dakota to find ways to overcome this northern effect.

The biggest discovery—so far—is that the feeding quality of northern soybeans is higher than what the crude protein numbers indicate. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and our Minnesota soybeans tend to be slightly higher in the amino acids most important to swine and poultry. In addition, there appears to be other minor constituents in northern grown soybeans that provide additional value to the end user.

This is important. More than every other row of soybeans grown in Minnesota is exported. Asian buyers need to know the amino acid advantage of our soybeans. That is why Seth Naeve, University of Minnesota Extension soybean agronomist, and soybean farmers from Minnesota and the Dakotas are spending part of March in the Philippines, Thailand and China educating end-users about the amino acids in northern grown soybeans. This research will encourage Asian buyers and nutritionists to look beyond crude protein as a measure of quality.

University of Minnesota Extension is happy to help tell the world the good news about Minnesota soybeans. This is Bev Durgan on the Minnesota Farm Network.

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