The future of soybean varieties is gleaming. You can expect improved weed, disease and insect control, and more healthy oil composition. Yield potential tops a pipeline that should help grow profits well past this decade.

“I like to call this the ‘Decade of the Bean,’ because we expect to see a number of new traits in soybeans to reach the market,” says Roy Fuchs, Monsanto oilseed technology leader. “It’s similar to corn traits in the previous decade.”

Nick Iwig, Pioneer Hi-Bred marketing manager, soybean product strategy, adds, “The most exciting thing is the integration of improved genetics and traits that get the greatest value from each acre planted to soybeans.”

Rob Joslin, Sidney, OH, farmer and American Soybean Association (ASA) chairman, says, “We have an even more robust group of traits for farmers and consumers in the pipeline.”

We’re continuing to see “a situation in which many new traits are more valuable than the germplasm,” says Myron Stine, vice president of sales and marketing, Stine Seed. The pipeline should reward the farmer who values both traits and germplasm for yield, he says.

University trait releases combined with resources of commercial breeders is leading to further advances in soybean traits. Brian Diers, University of Illinois plant breeder, says more advanced genetic technology is enabling breeders and other researchers to produce better yielding soybeans. “Our ability to sequence DNA has increased 50,000 times over the past 10 years,” he says.