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Soybean Meal Utilization

June 2020

One of the side benefits from the isolation from the Corona virus was time to clean files and review past publications.  I reviewed a paper written 35 years ago that summarized soybean meal use in the 1980s.  This paper still has direct application to the role soybean meal has in current livestock and poultry operations.  A few paragraphs from the paper seem appropriate for citing:

“The usefulness of any feed ingredient is dependent on several factors.  The three most important are nutrient composition, availability and price.  Since the mid-1950s nutritionists have been programing the computer with information on these three factors to calculate the relative value of various feed ingredients.

The complementary relationship between soybean products and cereal grains in meeting animal nutritional requirements has rapidly expanded soybean product utilization.  Soybean meal is the dominant supplemental protein in the U.S. livestock and poultry rations.  Heat processed full-fat soybeans and soybean hulls are valuable feed ingredients often used when their price allows inclusion in rations.”

This paper discussed the utilization of soybean products in livestock, poultry and aquaculture diets.  There was no attempt to develop a comprehensive review of the volumes of research developed each year which supported the feeding value of soybean meal.    Rather the paper highlighted research that supported its premier position among protein ingredients and its use in livestock and poultry diets”.

(Editor’s note: It is amazing, but not unexpectant, that a scientific paper published 35 years ago would be so accurate in explaining current use of soybean meal.  During the past 35 years we have developed volumes of research which further confirms the many benefits of soybean meal in livestock and poultry operations.)

Smith, Keith.  1986.  Advances in feeding soybean products.  Proceeding; World Conference on Emerging Technologies in the Fats and Oils Industry.  American Oil Chemists Society 63(2): 189-194.  

Another paper, written in 1977, provided details on the early history of soybean processing, the steps in soybean meal processing, and how soybean meal’s nutrient composition accounted for its premiere positon among protein ingredients.  Highlighted was soybean meal use by the various livestock and poultry species.

(Editor’s note: In the mid-1970s this paper was the basis for several technical presentations presented around the World in an attempt to inform nutritionists on the role of soybean meal played in complementing cereal grains in feeds required for profitable livestock and poultry operations.  Over a 2-3 year period presentations were given in several counties (Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, England, France, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, Spain, Syria, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, and Yugoslavia).  

Smith, Keith J.  1977.  Soybean Meal: Production, composition and utilization.  Feedstuffs 49(3): 22-25.