The 2013 soybean harvest is coming to a close, and it’s time to think about where crops are headed beyond the elevator—to soybean processors, animal nutritionists and livestock producers. It’s not too early to think about next year’s seeds and varieties that meet these customers’ standards for protein and oil. Secure market share in 2014 by making informed seed selections next time around.

John Schillinger, president and founder of Schillinger Genetics, Inc., reminds farmers that soybean customers increasingly look at nutritional and specialty qualities like protein and oil when choosing their supplier and price. Technology allows seed companies to provide soybeans with these traits, along with high yields.


Key Takeaways

  • Protein levels will become even more important to soybean buyers as the world’s population grows, and as these populations can more frequently afford higher protein foods and meat.
  • Technology allows seed companies to engineer the types of beans both customers and farmers want—high protein and oil AND high yield.
  • However, an industry-wide shift must occur for composition levels in soybeans to increase to the 35 percent protein and 19 percent oil customers demand, starting with farmers asking for seed varieties that supply both.
  • While climate has some influence on composition levels (i.e., in South America) a seed’s genetics are the number-one factor that determines composition, and can even override environmental factors.

What can farmers do to avoid quality “dogs?”

  • Select varieties and ask your seed dealer for varieties that produce high yields AND high protein and oil to keep Illinois soybeans the top choice of customers.
  • Verify company recommendations with independent research from universities and extensions or the Soybean Quality Toolbox located at
  • Make a commitment to spread the word to other soybean farmers.
  • ISA has an in-depth White Paper and other resources on the importance of high protein and oil levels in soybeans available for download at

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