The demand for high oleic soybeans continues to grow. 13 states grow high oleic soybeans with the highest concentration of acres in Ohio and Indiana. The United Soybean Board hosted an event in late August just south of Fort Wayne for farmers to attend in an effort to grow those acres even more.
Cass County farmer Kevin Wilson spoke to the crowd on hand about his experience growing high oleic beans. He says it’s far different now than it was when he first started around 7 or 8 years ago. The obstacles back then are largely gone now, and the differences between high oleic and conventional soybean management are miniscule.
“Basically, it’s not much. When the planter is about empty you switch over and it’s not like you have to go through and blow your planter boxes completely out and flush the combine or anything like that anymore. If you’ve got a little extra now, you know, we can put Plenish back into the regular beans and it’s no big deal.”
And companies are paying big premiums for high oleic.
“Depending on your situation, whether you’re going to deliver in-season, or during the fall, or if you’re going to store and deliver later on, for this past year’s crop, it was anywhere between $2 to $2.20 a bushel,” Wilson says. “From what we’re hearing, the ‘24 crop will be somewhere around $1.75 a bushel.”
Yield drag and weed control used to be the two big obstacles facing growers in their decision to grow high oleic soybeans. Traci Bultemeier, Northeast Indiana Territory Manager for Pioneer, says strong pre-plant and pre-emerge weed control programs have helped alleviate the weeds issue.
As for yield drag, “There is no yield drag to these. When you take a look at the lineup of Enlist E3 genetics compared to our Plenish varieties, they yield right up there all together… When you put maturity zones to maturity zones, they all yield right with each other.”
You can learn more about high oleic soybeans from the United Soybean Board. The Indiana Soybean Alliance also has information regarding Indiana elevators accepting them. Contact your local Pioneer sales rep to get started.