It isn’t every day that farmers in one state get excited about soybeans grown in another. But nationwide excitement continues to build around new high oleic soybean varieties, and farmers are already talking about how they could help to secure and expand U.S. soybean oil demand. These varieties also have the potential to increase long-term on-farm profitability for all U.S. soybean farmers.
North Dakota farmer Jared Hagert says these varieties could make a significant impact throughout his state and across the country by increasing demand for all U.S. soybean oil.
“Farmers in states that aren’t growing high oleic soybeans still need to know that our customers want the high oleic oil, but, right now, they are using competing oils,” says Hagert, a soy checkoff farmer-leader from Emerado. “We need to preserve and expand our food oil demand, and high oleic soybeans are an opportunity to do that, and earn back some of a lost market.”
The soybean industry has set a goal for farmers to plant 18 million acres of high oleic soybeans by 2023. A recent analysis from the soybean-industry board QUALISOY reports that if that goal is met, each U.S. soybean farmer could gain 66 cents per bushel, or a total increase of $3.8 billion each year for all soybean farmers. That amount is over the price each farmer would receive if the market does not adopt high oleic soybeans and food demand for soybean oil continues to decrease.
“High oleic will only add to our overall profitability,” says Hagert. “Regardless of whether or not I can grow high oleic on my own farm, the demand for the oil high oleic soybeans produce helps increase the value of all soybean oil, and that means increased profits for U.S. soybean farmers.”
A broader introduction of high oleic soybean varieties could impact every U.S. soybean farmer, regardless of whether they grow these soybeans on their farms.
“Customers are looking for a widely adapted soybean oil that works well in their applications,” says Hagert. “As an industry, we can offer them a solution with high oleic.”
By growing more acres of a quality product that end users want, all U.S. farmers could find a solution to long-term profitability in high oleic soybeans.
“With the checkoff taking the initiative to help fund high oleic soybean technology, we’ve been able to expand the growing area, and that will help meet the goal of 18 million acres,” says Hagert. “It speaks directly to the checkoff’s mission to increase profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. The cost of doing nothing is too great to ignore.”