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Corn+Soybean Digest

Web Site Offers Soybean Farmers Guide to Premium Opportunities

More than 20 Indiana companies are now posting their soybean contract premium programs at a single Web site – – so Hoosier soybean farmers can easily search for value-added opportunities in their area.

“This tool provides growers a chance to see a variety of potentially profitable value-added production opportunities quickly and easily,” says Jerry Osterholt, Huntington County farmer and chairman of Indiana Soybean Alliance’s (ISA) grain marketing committee. “Growers may be surprised to see which companies are now on board to provide premiums to deliver soybeans.”

The Indiana soybean checkoff organization has been helping fund the Web site since fall 2008. Illinois Soybean Association initiated the site in early 2008 and quickly expanded the reach to Indiana and Iowa farmers and companies. The expansion made it easier to accommodate premium programs offered across multiple states and near state borders.

“We have had great response from both farmers and companies to this site over the last two years,” says Osterholt. “The number of users continues to increase and Indiana has great representation on the site. I hope more Indiana soybean farmers will visit the site as they are making their planting decisions for 2010. They might see a program in their area and decide to capitalize on some value-added opportunities.”

Having a one-stop source of information can be a big help to farmers, since the market for specialty beans is not as well known as it could be. In addition, premium programs can have significant differences in their contracts, making it challenging for buyers to communicate effectively and efficiently with farmers.

Along with farmers, both processors and manufacturers benefit from this site by making it easier for them to reach qualified, preferred growers who can segregate and store specialized soybeans. Their success depends upon their ability to connect with producers who can meet their product quality standards.

Bunge in Decatur, IN, is currently signing up acreage contracts for the 2010 crop year and offering a harvest delivery premium of 55¢/bu. and an on-farm storage premium of 60¢/bu. for their low-linolenic beans. Bunge has received positive responses from farmers who have visited the site.

“Farmers seem to appreciate having the convenience of viewing one Web site for a complete list of soybean premium programs around the region,” says Bill Vonderau, Bunge’s local grain marketing specialist. “Farmers are constantly looking for ways to increase their bottom line, and getting a premium for their grain is always a good option.” allows soybean buyers to post their premium programs, providing farmers with a detailed program listing along with links to additional resources. The premiums currently shown on the site for Indiana range from 55¢ to $1.60/bu. for farmers meeting specific guidelines.

“Marketing differentiated soybeans is one way farmers can increase their revenues without expanding their land base, but it’s not always easy to find the right program for the right operation,” says Emily Otto-Tice, ISA grain marketing director. “Farmers don’t always know about all the companies offering value-added production opportunities or what those opportunities are for non-biotech, clear hilum, low-linolenic or seed beans – to name a few. That’s where this Web site can help.”

For more information or to look for premium opportunities in your area, visit

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