Long-Term Soybean Composition Patterns and Their Effect on Processing

C. R. Hurburgh, Jr.

Soybean protein and oil data from eight years of national surveys showed Western Corn Belt (WCB) soybeans to be consistently one percentage point lower in protein than soybeans from the rest of the nation. Among other regions, there was year-to-year variability in protein patterns. Oil percentages were more variable among years than protein percentages. Except for the far-northern states, which typically produce low protein soybeans, improvement and stabilization of oil content would produce the most certain increases in processor yields. Increased protein would be valuable only if soybean meal were priced to reward protein content in excess of specifications. Keywords. Soybeans, composition, protein, oil, processing, oil yield, meal yield.