A clearinghouse for growers in search for premium bean programs is available online at http://soybeanpremiums.org.

   “The site (supported by Iowa, Illinois and Indiana soybean associations) is for buyers and producers of specialty soybeans,” says Grant Kimberley, director of marketing, Iowa Soybean Association. “Seed companies and other end users can post opportunities for premium contracts. Growers can look at the various contract opportunities available.”

Producers can identity preserved, food-grade, low-linoleic and other specialty beans, along with non-biotech varieties. “Low-linoleic beans usually bring a 60¢/bu. or higher premium,” says Kimberley. “If they’re non-biotech, it could be $2/bu. higher. Food-grade, high-protein varieties also bring good premiums.”

   He says growers should see opportunities to contract for high-oleic varieties that will likely be available commercially soon. There should also be new premium markets for high-protein soybeans for aquaculture. “This could become a good specialty crop,” he says.

   Even though organic and non-biotech are small percentages of overall soybean and corn production, Kimberley says growers can use the soybean premiums site and other sources to locate premium markets.

  “There are niche markets out there if growers are looking for them,” he says.