New calculator can help soybean farmers with seed decisions
ST. LOUIS — Facing lower soybean cash prices this year, farmers are looking for opportunities to add to their bottom lines. Growing identity-preserved (IP) soybeans is one option for additional profit opportunities, but the costs can seem overwhelming to farmers thinking about getting started.
U.S.-soy-industry-led board QUALISOY developed a calculator that can help farmers determine how much profit they can add by growing IP soybeans, including high oleic varieties.
The calculator, based on a Purdue University study, helps farmers navigate the typical steps required to produce and segregate IP soybeans and gives them an estimate of added profit potential. The United Soybean Board’s Value Task Force funded the study.
“The charge of the Value Task Force is to try to find the next big thing that could really create opportunities for soybean farmers, and we feel that there is a lot of opportunity in IP soybeans,” says Dan Corcoran, a soybean farmer from Piketon, Ohio, and chair of the Value Task Force. “Whether a farmer has ever grown IP soybeans before or not, this tool will help determine the potential value that is out there.”
This calculator, available for use on http://soyinnovation.com/inputs-handling/, also gives a quick look into the limited costs associated with growing IP or high oleic soybeans.
“The soybean calculator is easy to access and has straightforward questions,” says Corcoran. “It takes you on a logical path to get a basis for non-IP products and what it takes to deliver a crop. Then it goes into the additional costs and revenue associated with growing IP soybeans.
“This tool helps you make an educated business decision by removing a large amount of guesswork. It gives soybean farmers a good overview of exactly what we need to invest when we choose to grow IP.”
Right now, opportunities available for soybean farmers to grow IP include non-GMO, food-grade and high oleic soybeans. However, high oleic soybeans have easier handling procedures compared with other IP soybeans. The calculator takes those factors into consideration when delivering its results.
“With the current state of soybean prices, it is important for soybean farmers to grow a product that has increasing demand,” concludes Corcoran. “This concept of growing a product that customers are demanding is beneficial for farmers in general.”
The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.
For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org