From a price standpoint, plant breeders and farmers typically have had little incentive to develop or produce higher oil and protein soybeans. That's because USDA grades and standards do not contain oil and protein as value components.

That could be changing, however, if Ohio researchers have their way.

They investigated the effects of different quality levels on the market behavior, prices bid and profit levels of soybean buyers and sellers.

The result: Changes in the grading system may provide the pricing incentive for breeders and producers to indeed develop and produce high-quality oil and meal soybeans.

The researchers claim that end-use value in the grading system may also improve U.S. competitiveness in world markets, assuming that high-quality deliveries can be guaranteed.

(Laura Kippen, Nationwide Financial Services; and E. Dean Baldwin, Ohio State University)