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Ag collaboration to tackle soybean qualityAg collaboration to tackle soybean quality
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By Holly Demaree-Saddler
BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS, U.S. — A new alliance between Syngenta Seeds, the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) and the United Soybean Board (USB) will focus on advancing the livestock nutritional value of Syngenta soybean varieties.
David Hollinrake, president of Syngenta Seeds, LLC and regional director for North America, said the company has made a commitment to advancing quality traits in its soybean and corn seed to maximize value from seed-to-feed and fuel markets.
“The soybean checkoff and nutritionists have identified which quality traits best meet livestock customer needs, and we want to help farmers maximize their feed markets with our varieties,” Hollinrake said.
Dough Schroeder, chairman of ISA, applauded Syngenta for being the first multinational seed company to take a public stand for soybean quality.
“Syngenta’s focus will help farmers fight serious market share and revenue losses in critical swine feed markets,” Schroeder said. “Soybean meal in swine feed rations has dropped 70% since 1990, largely replaced by synthetic amino acids and corn byproducts such as DDGS. ISA is dedicated to reversing that trend.”
Syngenta will utilize the nutrition findings from the ongoing High Yield PLUS Quality (HY+Q) program originally developed by the ISA four years ago.
HY+Q is also a national checkoff-funded initiative dedicated to increasing the feed value of soybeans by encouraging farmers to select and plant those soybean varieties that feature high livestock nutritional value, as determined by amino acid profiles.
According to the ISA, more than 70% of U.S. soybeans are fed to livestock across the swine, dairy, beef and poultry sectors.
“Soybean producers are losing sales to synthetic feed ingredients and other grains,” Schroeder said. “Seed company involvement is critical to the identification, development and promotion of select soybean varieties that will help producers meet the needs of their customers.”
Syngenta joins LG Seeds and AgriGold as the third seed company to support soybean quality advancement.
The Syngenta program will include the company’s major seed brands, as well as NK, Golden Harvest and Enogen Feed Hybrids. Syngenta teams will identify and promote soybean varieties and corn hybrids in the Syngenta portfolio that have the nutritional characteristics most sought after by livestock and ethanol producers.
“Many of our customers take livestock nutritional criteria into account, just as they do yield and agronomic traits, when making seed-selection decisions,” said Travis Kriegshauser, strategic marketing manager for soybeans at Syngenta. “We offer many varieties and hybrids with superior nutritional value, which in turn help livestock producers enhance animal growth and productivity.”
As part of the HY+Q initiative, the ISA maintains a website at https://soyvalue.com/ that ranks hundreds of popular soybean varieties for livestock nutritional value across national, regional and local seed brands.
The data is derived from more than 50,000 soybean samples between 2013 and 2018. New data from 2019 on varietal performance will soon be uploaded to the site. Farmers can have their own soybeans tested for nutritional value by ordering free sample kits at the website.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program represents more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, issues analysis, communications and education.
USB’s 78 farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. 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.