The United Soybean Board (USB) strongly encourages producers to select high yielding varieties that also contain high levels of protein and oil.

“We grow soybeans, but our processors buy and sell protein and oil,” says USB Chairman David Durham, a soybean farmer from Hardin, MO. It's time for us to change the way we think about soybeans. We have to put as much emphasis on protein and oil as we do yield.”

The bulk of U.S. soybean production has shifted out of the Southeast and into the Upper Midwest. Those maturity groups, says Durham, tend to have lower protein and oil.

“South America is projected to double its soybean acres in the next decade, making it virtually impossible for us to compete in terms of production,” Durham says. “We need to grow what the world demands. Higher levels of protein and oil is one way we can compete.”

AGP and South Dakota Soy Processors are already paying premiums for specific varieties. Cargill announces it will offer a program at its Sioux City, IA, processing center for 2004-05 and other processors are considering such programs.