High oleic soybeans have been in fields for five years, and we’re not talking test plots. Farmers in nine states are preparing to harvest their high oleic crops this year, and varieties will be available in even more states next year.
In 2015, farmers planted high oleic soybeans on approximately 250,000 acres. That number has grown each year that high oleic has been available, but it’s small in comparison to what the soy checkoff expects from 2016 contracts, when farmers will be able to plant high oleic varieties in 11 states.
These varieties are well beyond their test phase. Farmers are excited about high oleic’s potential, and the seed companies offering the varieties are confident in their products. High oleic soybeans are commercially available from DuPont Pioneer, under the Plenish brand, and from Monsanto, as Vistive Gold.
“We’ve demonstrated on-farm performance with Vistive Gold varieties,” says Sarah Vacek, the brand’s product manager. She says the varieties perform competitively with commodity products and deliver the defensive packages farmers want.
Russ Sanders, Director of Food and Industry Markets for DuPont Pioneer, expressed similar confidence.
“We’ve moved well beyond limited, early-stage testing,” he says, “Several of the industry’s leading soy processors have Plenish contract programs to serve downstream customers.”
Those end-use customers are demanding the premium oil that high oleic soybeans produce because of its stability in products such as Nestle’s Coffee-mate and others that you can find in stores now.
Both companies expect growth in high oleic soybeans for 2016 and beyond.
“In preparation,” Vacek said, “we are diligently working with end users and processors to be ready to meet their needs.”
Food companies and processors need to see proof that farmers are ready to meet their demand by choosing to grow high oleic.