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Soy Checkoff Partnership Investment Paves Way for Soy-Based Asphalt at 2022 Farm Progress Show

Soy Checkoff Partnership Investment Paves Way for Soy-Based Asphalt at 2022 Farm Progress Show

U.S. soybean farmers attending the 2022 Farm Progress Show will have the opportunity to experience the value of their soy checkoff investments in research and development firsthand. An installation of more than 42,000 square feet of soy-based asphalt, sponsored by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), has been completed at the Central Iowa Expo Grounds near Boone, Iowa, just in time for the event.

“Our goal in funding this project is to highlight the diversity of high oleic soybean oil and its potential for use in pavement, coverings and coatings. The soy checkoff’s partnership with the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa State University is an example of how we make checkoff dollars go farther to bring products like this to the market,” said April Hemmes, United Soybean Board (USB) farmer-leader and District 2 director, Iowa Soybean Association. “USB has invested in this work since 2017, so it’s very exciting to see it come to fruition because we are going beyond petroleum to reach a new level of renewability and sustainability.”

The soy-based asphalt surface demonstrates the versatility of U.S. soybeans and research advancements toward their use. The binding agent, developed with high oleic soybean oil, increases asphalt durability and offers a more environmentally sustainable alternative to traditional binding agents.

“Infrastructure and demand are two priorities for Iowa soybean farmers,” said Robb Ewoldt, ISA president and soybean farmer from Davenport. “Soy’s incorporation in asphalt enhances the product’s durability and longevity and reduces maintenance costs. It also increases demand for soybean oil, improves the product’s environmental footprint and provides the expo grounds with greater flexibility in the events it attracts and hosts.”

The paving project is an extension of the research conducted by Iowa State University into the formulation of high oleic soybean oil as a replacement for other compounds commonly used in the creation of asphalt products. Using a cold in-place technology, the project combines 100% recycled asphalt pavement mixed with a soy-based polymer. In total, the construction utilizes over 2,300 pounds of soybean oil, or 215 bushels of soybeans. On average, each soybean bushel yields nearly 10.7 pounds of oil.

The Iowa Soybean Association is proud to invest in the research and technology to make soy-based asphalt a reality, added Ewoldt. “Featuring soy in such a prominent location will advance awareness and understanding of the product’s versatility and benefits, drive demand for homegrown soybeans and make the expo grounds more accessible for guests for years and decades to come.”

United Soybean Board’s 78 volunteer farmer-leaders work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers create value by investing in research, education and promotion with the vision to deliver sustainable soy solutions to every life, every day across the three priority areas of Infrastructure & Connectivity, Health & Nutrition, and Innovation & Technology. 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 unitedsoybean.org.

The Iowa Soybean Association is driven to deliver increased soybean demand through market development and new uses, farmer-focused research and results, timely information and know-how and policy initiatives enabling farmers and the industry to flourish. Founded in 1964 by farmers to serve farmers, ISA is governed by a board of 22 farmers to advocate on behalf of the state’s 40,000 soybean producers, including more than 13,500 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders. For more information, visit iasoybeans.com.

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