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Technical Resources

Economic evaluation of soybean meal and the challenge of supply chain

Pope, M.

The soybean supply chain incentivizes upstream participants to maximize crop yield (volume), while downstream participants (nutritionists) make decisions based on crop quality characteristics such as amino acid concentration and energy content. These parameters tend to decline as soybean yield increases, consequently, the value proposition for soybean meal (SBM) is not fully recognized in the market. Furthermore, on a global basis, SBM sales are based primarily on minimum crude protein (CP) content, which does not fully account for the true value of SBM to the end user. To demonstrate the application value of SBM and its nutrient composition, SBM value was quantified in both poultry and swine diets using the nutritional attributes (digestible amino acids and energy) that are the primary determinants of end-user value.

This analysis tied incremental changes in product nutritional composition (amino acid content and energy) to an increase in value of SBM ($/MT) for swine and poultry diets and quantifies value from the end-user (nutritionist) perspective, allowing alignment across the value chain.