High oleic soybeans were first planted in the United States in 2013. From that year’s initial 50,000 acres — mostly in Indiana, Ohio and Iowan — the crop has grown to more than 600,000 acres throughout the Midwest in 2017. The United Soybean Board has a goal of 18 million acres by 2023.
Management of high oleic soybeans, including planting, weed management, and disease and insect control, is essentially the same as any other soybean variety. However, there are only two real differences. First, if farmers plant both high oleic soybeans and other varieties, they must keep the identity of the high oleic beans separate. That means cleaning equipment before planting, harvesting, storing and transporting high oleic soybeans. Second, farmers can expect a 4 percent to 5 percent increase in contract price because of the extra work that goes into keeping high oleic soybeans separate. Processing for oil and proteins is no different for high oleic soybeans.
Meet the Expert
Dr. Shaun Casteel was born and raised on the family farm in east-central Illinois. Shaun earned his B.S. in Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. Shaun joined the Purdue Agronomy Department as the Extension Soybean and Small Grains Specialist. He addresses today's agronomic challenges of soybean and small grains through various Extension programs and applied research. He works to educate, train, and provide the most relevant information that enables timely and sound management decisions in production systems.