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High Oleic Soybean Farmers Play Hero in Summer Blockbuster

Science-fiction movies, novels and television shows often leave audiences wondering what the future will look like. Unfortunately for soybean farmers and agriculture enthusiasts, no 2014 summer blockbusters have been announced about a future in which the soy industry has reached its goal of 18 million acres of high oleic by 2023. If such a movie existed, it would be a feel-good film about a future filled with profit potential and higher-value opportunities brought on by this innovative trait.

Luckily for U.S. soybean farmers, we don’t have to wait for a Hollywood producer or bestselling author to imagine how high oleic will change the soybean industry for the better. High oleic soybeans offer U.S. farmers an opportunity to win back some lost market share and expand into new markets. If the industry reaches its goal, some 9 billion pounds of high oleic soybean oil would be available annually to support domestic food and industrial demand, as well as exports.

U.S.Food Industry

High oleic soybean varieties produce oil with increased functionality that food customers don’t get from commodity soybean oil. High oleic oil contains less saturated fat than competing vegetable oils and requires no partial hydrogenation, which creates trans fats. While many customers are happy with commodity soybean oil, high oleic is an ideal option for baked goods or frying foods. Once a ready supply of high oleic soybean oil is available, these benefits will appeal to major food companies and restaurants, helping famers to regain the 4 billion pounds of demand lost because commodity soybean oil no longer meets the needs of certain customers.

Industrial Demand

Increased functionality and stability also open new doors for industrial manufacturers that could use soy in their formulations. Researchers have found high oleic soybean oil outperforms commodity soybean oil in high-heat applications and competes closely with petroleum. These properties help make high oleic soybean oil more attractive to manufacturers of such recognizable products such as motor oil, lubricants, hydraulic fluids, grease and self-adhesives like tape, envelopes and sticky notes.


Although most demand for high oleic soybean oil will likely come from the United States, thanks to an already strong potential customer base, some future demand may also come from abroad. An approval by Codex, the organization that establishes international oil composition standards, could generate demand in foreign food and industrial markets. High oleic soybeans are a profit opportunity unique to American soybean farmers because only U.S. soybean farmers have access to the technology.

While the story of high oleic soybeans may not feature any famous action stars, it does have a hero. Farmers who choose to grow high oleic soybeans in their fields could raise the value of soybeans not just on their farms, but for all soybean farmers by up to 66 cents a bushel.

Source: Unitedsoybean

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