Bill Bateson liked what he saw from high oleic soybeans so much the first year he grew them, he came back for an encore.
Like other Ohio farmers growing high oleic soybeans, Bateson has seen solid performance in the field, and he remains excited about end-user demand for the oil they produce. It offers improved functionality for some food customers, such as fast-food chains and snack-food makers. And it contains less saturated fat and no trans fats. The oil produced from high oleic soybeans also offers opportunities to reach new industrial-use markets.
In this interview, the Arlington, Ohio, farmer talks about how high oleic soybeans are exceeding his expectations.
Why did you decide to start growing high oleic soybeans?
I heard about high oleic soybeans from the local co-op. I wanted to try something new, and I wanted to grow soybeans that would benefit end users. I am also on the Ohio Soybean Council and get to hear about new developments and research. High oleic soybeans will definitely give the soybean industry some strong legs to stand on.
How have your high oleic soybeans performed in the field?
This year, like last year, our yields were at our on-farm average. The agronomic and disease packages for high oleic soybeans are also similar to what we’ve had on our farm. They’re hearty. I was really pleased, and I had a lot of nice comments from people about how good they looked.
Do you think high oleic soybeans will improve your long-term profitability?
Yes, I do. The demand is there, and there are many new processes and products that can be developed using high oleic soybean oil. For the soybean industry as a whole, high oleic soybeans can help farmers become more profitable – if the end-user wants the oil, then we need to grow them.
Why are new industrial markets for high oleic soybean oil an important opportunity for soybean farmers?
I am really excited about the industrial uses for high oleic soybeans and the opportunity to break into new markets. It’s a huge door that could be opened to make soybeans an even more profitable commodity. These new uses for high oleic soybean oil could increase all soybean oil demand, allowing farmers to ultimately be more profitable.
How does it feel to be on the cutting edge of technology?
It’s exciting. You’re hopeful that new products can follow through and the companies developing them will have success. Because when they have success with their new products, we can have success – it’s that simple.