Health concerns over trans-fats have decreased use of soybean oil as a food product. The University of Missouri has developed a soybean trait that has improved oil quality via non-GMO breeding. Marketed as SOYLEIC™, the varieties contain greater than 80% oleic acid and less than 3% linolenic acid (high oleic and low linolenic, or HOLL). While the United Soybean Board (USB) has been funding the Illinois SOYLEIC breeding program, testing demands for the existing pipeline exceed USB support.
ISA checkoff funding will give the breeding program the resources to conduct an intensive evaluation of SOYLEIC lines developed through funding from USB. The number of yield plots will increase by at least 4,000 across five Illinois locations.
Illinois farmers will have more options for high-yielding SOYLEIC varieties adapted to the various growing environments across the state. This will allow them to capitalize on premium market opportunities in the food industry and various industrial uses.
The SOYLEIC breeding effort is a collaboration with breeders at other universities.
The Illinois breeding program collaborates with the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (MSMC) to coordinate testing and seed increases of elite SOYLEIC experimental lines to increase the speed that varieties are released.
The MSMC team also works with seed companies, processors and the food industry to increase demand for SOYLEIC oil.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and government relations efforts, while the membership program, Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) and the Illinois Soybean Growers PAC actively advocates for positive and impactful legislation for farmers at local, state and national levels. ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean farmers through promotion, advocacy, research and education with the vision of becoming a trusted partner of Illinois soybean farmers to ensure their profitability now and for future generations.