A field of soybeans at sunset

(Photo credit: Iowa Soybean Association)

Soybean Quality Differentiation and Economics

June 22, 2021

With the international market becoming more competitive, many buyers of U.S. soybeans are considering soybean protein and oil content when making their buying decisions. Recognizing a need for an easy to use tool to help farmers identify potential economic benefits from soybean quality differentiation, Iowa Soybean Association has released a free online tool, the Soybean Quality Economic Simulator, which allows user input to adjust factors such as soybean grain price, expected yield, yield change and the premium payment amount.

“With the Soybean Economic Simulator, it provides an easy-to-use tool to determine potential economic return for higher quality soybeans,” ISA Data Analyst Aaron Prestholt says. “This also provides a potential marketing advantage for U.S. soybean farmers and this raises awareness for farmers on quality differentiation and potential benefit of protein premium payments.”

Prestholt also presents field studies done by the Iowa Soybean Association’s Research Center for Farming Innovation (RCFI) to characterize soybean quality within fields as well as the features of the Soybean Quality Economic Simulator in the video below.

“Previously quality differentiation of protein and oil content within a field required collection of seed samples manually with those seed grain samples being sent to a laboratory for analysis, it could take weeks or possibly months to receive those results,” says Prestholt. “That was just not timely enough to market soybeans as higher quality. Today, modern technology provides a potential for faster spatial quality differentiation.”