|By MEGAN KUHN
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — As global competition in the soybean arena increases, Indiana farmers now have the opportunity to earn a premium for supplying a product that better meets the marketplace demand - soybeans with higher oil and protein content.
The Indiana Soybean Board (ISB) recently announced that farmers delivering soybeans to Consolidated Grain & Barge (CGB) at Mt. Vernon, Ind. or the Bunge plant at Danville, Ill. can participate in the Soybean Quality Rewards (SQR) program in 2006. The ISB is cosponsoring the program with the Illinois Soybean Association, CGB and Bunge.
Farmers can receive up to 6 cents more per bushel when their soybeans meet the minimum oil content when delivered at either of the above locations.
“The SQR program is the type of marketing effort we need to adopt if we’re going to compete effectively with soybeans grown in South America,” said ISB President Mark Seib of Poseyville, Ind.
According to Judd Hulting of the Illinois Soybean Assoc., South American soybeans are consistently 1 percent higher in protein and 1 to 2 percent higher in oil content than U.S. beans.
“This is a big concern,” Hulting said. “A lot of Illinois and Indiana beans make it down the Gulf and if we want the export markets, we need to offer the best quality that we can and give them (soybean buyers) what they want.”
He said that the SQR program has been in place in Illinois for three years, starting with two delivery locations in 2004 and growing to eight locations for 2006. In addition to Consolidated Grain & Barge and Bunge, ADM also participates in the Illinois SQR program.
While grower interest in the program has been steady, Hulting would like to see more involvement.
“We need to differentiate our crop from the South American crop,” he said. “We need to get out of the commodity mentality.”
How it works
Farmers who grow and deliver their soybeans in the sponsoring areas can participate in the SQR program.
According to Seib, there are no variety restrictions and farmers can grow any varieties - GM or conventional - that they believe will deliver the targeted levels of protein and oil. Beans need a minimum 19.2 percent oil content and 35.5 percent protein to be eligible for premiums.
Farmers should contact their seed dealer to learn which varieties may deliver the desired amounts of protein and oil. Additional information can be found on the free Varietal Information Program for Soybeans (VIPS) database at www.vipsoybeans.org
When farmers deliver their crops either during or after harvest, each load will be tested. If the load doesn’t meet the minimum content levels, there is no penalty and farmers will be paid the normal market price.
Sign-up requirements vary by site. While there is no sign-up needed to participate in the CGB program at Mt. Vernon, farmers delivering to the Bunge plant in Danville need to enroll their acreage through their Bunge grain merchandiser.
For information on the Soybean Quality Rewards program in Indiana, call Melanie Batalis, ISB grain marketing director, at 800-735-0195. In Illinois, farmers can contact Judd Hulting at 309-663-7692.
This farm news was published in the March 1, 2006 issue of Farm World.