A study of the U.S. 2006 soybean crop says this year's harvest has the lowest average protein content ever recorded.
The study, prepared for the American Soybean Association and the United States Soybean Export Council, indicates that new-crop soybeans carry a weighted-average protein content of 34.51%, down from last year's 34.51% and the lowest ever found in the study's 20 years.
"Average protein and oil concentrations for the U.S. soybean crop were similar, but slightly lower than those described in the 2005 quality survey," ASA says in it summary of the report.
Oil concentrations in the record-sized 2006 crop were the fifth-highest level ever at 19.17% (11.5 pounds of vegetable oil per bushel), but were down from 2005's 19.41% (11.65 pounds per bushel).
ASA's summary states that while western Corn Belt states' crop was similar to the previous year's profile, eastern Corn Belt states had a crop with lower protein and oil concentrations and Southern crops tended to have lower protein but higher oil concentrations.