Nebraska's Soybean Protein, Oil Levels Rise

State production totals a record for 2006.

Published on: Jan 9, 2007

The 2006 Nebraska soybean crop received high marks regarding protein and oil content.

The U.S. soybean crop quality survey indicated that the Nebraska soybean harvest averaged a protein level of 34.75% and oil level of 18.96%, similar to the national average of 34.5% protein and 19.2% oil.

It continues to be a checkoff priority to maintain a high-yielding soybean with a strong protein and oil content, says Chuck Myers, United Soybean Boafrd domestic marketing chairman and farmer from Lyons, Neb.

While maintaining high protein and oil levels, the 2006 Nebraska soybean crop was the largest on record producing 255 million bushels. This demonstrates the ability of the Nebraska soybean farmer and their ability to produce a high quality abundant crop, Myers says.

The results of the 2006 soybean crop quality survey show an increase in overall acreage and production and positive oil and protein levels across the country. The annual survey is funded by the soybean checkoff and aids international soybean customers in their decision-making process regarding purchases of U.S. soybeans. Oil and protein testing was conducted at the University of Minnesota.

Estimates from the USDA show that a record 74.5 million acres of soybeans were planted nationally in 2006, a 4.6% increase over 2005. USDA also estimates yields to be nearly equal to the 2005 crop despite drought conditions that limited yields in Western and mid-South states.

Estimates indicate the 2006 crop at more than 3 billion bushels, an increase of more than 4% over 2005.

"The increased soybean acreage and good yields along with maintaining good quality will benefit all soybean farmers," says Myers. "The good quality and record crop means we'll have even more of the soybeans our customers around the world demand, and that will help us stay the number one exporter of soybeans."

Bob Kirchner, USB director and team lead for the checkoff's Select Yield and Quality initiative, and a soybean farmer from Brewster, Minn., explains that the soybean checkoff initiative focuses on providing soybean farmers with various informational tools to help select high-yielding, high-oil-and-protein soybean varieties.

The Web site houses information regarding soybean varieties. Farmers are encouraged to use these tools to aid in discussions with their seed dealers regarding soybean seed selection.

"The challenges we face in maintaining high oil and protein levels in some regions are geographical, not farming practices, and tools like the variety selector help us overcome those challenges, meet demands and thrive," says Kirchner.

The nine-member farmer elected Nebraska Soybean Board collects and disburses the Nebraska share of funds generated by the one half of one percent times the net sales price per bushel soybean checkoff. Nebraska soybean checkoff funds are invested in domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.