Today, AgriGold announced its collaboration with the Illinois Soybean Association to support the checkoff-funded High Yield PLUS Quality (HY+Q) initiative. The HY+Q program is a nationwide effort to identify and promote top-value soybean varieties that have the potential to produce higher-than-average yields and high-value livestock feed.
According to the USDA, more than 70 percent of soybeans grown in the U.S. are used for animal feed. And the U.S. Census Bureau reports the U.S. exports more than half of all soy or soy products annually. The HY+Q program was established to center the industry’s focus on increasing the feed value of soybeans to help protect and grow livestock feed market share in the face of increased competition from synthetic amino acids.
“We are excited to join forces with AgriGold to support our national HY+Q checkoff initiative at such a direct farmer level,” said Linda Kull, director of agriculture innovation and technology transfer, ISA. “AgriGold has 11 soybean varieties in their current product portfolio that meet the qualifications for exceptional feed value. Growers who choose to plant one or more of these varieties are an integral part of increasing the market share and overall value of U.S. soybeans.”
To maintain and grow market share globally, state and national soybean checkoff programs are making investments in areas where U.S. soybean farmers have the greatest opportunity to differentiate their product. More specifically, these checkoff organizations are focused on growing sustainable soybeans that produce better quality meal and oil for end users.
U.S. soybean protein levels dropped more than two percentage points from 2000 to 2017 according to USDA data. At the same time, a drop in amino acid levels has been noted, resulting in lower livestock feed values and soybean meal being replaced by synthetic amino acids and corn byproducts such as distiller’s dried grains with solubles.
Feed value of soybeans is determined by the levels of seven essential amino acids which are required for livestock growth and productivity. It’s the amino acids, not crude protein levels, that provide the nutritional quality that livestock producers value most. When soybeans contain higher levels of these essential nutrients, livestock producers can cost effectively incorporate more soybeans into rations, which helps strengthen the U.S. soybean industry.
“Taking on this initiative is just one more way we can ensure we’re doing the absolute best for our customers,” said Mike Kavanaugh, product & agronomy manager, AgriGold. “We don’t see this as a complicating factor in growers’ purchase decisions. Some of our highest- yielding soybeans also have the highest quality and value potential. Sharing this information will allow us to help growers make informed contributions to the unique needs of livestock producers and the appeal of our soybeans to export markets.”
The HY+Q program offers farmers a database of 768 soybean varieties with rankings based on amino acids used by livestock nutritionists to calculate least-cost rations. Varietal information can be accessed at soyvalue.com. Nutritional rankings are based on statistical analysis of more than 34,000 harvest samples from farmers and seed company trials over the past six years. The HY+Q effort is also supported by the national soybean checkoff.
To learn more about AgriGold’s top-value soybean varieties and how product decisions can support future markets contact your local key account specialist or schedule a meeting with an AgriGold representative at agrigold.com.