John Motter, Jenera, Ohio, pays himself $100 per hour from the premiums he earns for growing high-oleic soybeans. Not bad, says the four-year veteran of growing Pioneer Plenish and Asgrow Vistive Gold soybeans. He arrived at this rate by dividing the 40-60 cents per bushel premium by his hours spent cleaning equipment, making longer market trips and handling related paperwork.
Motter asked to be a high-oleic soybean grower when food trans-fat labeling first appeared, converting all of his soybean acres to high-oleic varieties after two years. “I help the industry while putting some money in my pocket,” he says.
As with all identity-preserved crops, the harvesting, handling and storage equipment for these soybeans must be free of other commodity grains. Motter is careful to run augers and combines empty and cleans out trucks and wagons. Many buyers use near-infrared grain assay technology to monitor the grain stream purity at delivery.
Other extra steps include sending in bean samples and displaying signs on storage bins and delivery truck windows.
He sells these premium soybeans at two plants that are 5 and 25 miles away. Both high-oleic seed brands are user friendly and share similar stewardship and segregation requirements, Motter says. He’s also seen yield parity with commodity beans for the past four years from both brands.
Asgrow’s Vistive Gold high-oleic soybeans will be available for growers in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan (also in DF Seeds Brands in Michigan) in 2015. They’ve been approved for sale to key soy importers except the EU and China. See www.VistiveGold.com for details.
Pioneer’s Plenish varieties are available in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, plus 60,000 acres to be contracted in 2015 in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey in conjunction with Perdue Agribusiness. Pioneer’s trait awaits EU approval. See www.plenish.com for details.
Exploring new options goes back at least three generations for Motter, the United Soybean Board’s Customer Focus Action Team lead. “High-oleic beans are a great way to keep U.S. soybeans globally competitive, as we aren’t the world’s low-cost soybean producer,” he says.