Each year since 1986 the American Soybean Association, United Soybean Board and the U.S. Soybean Export Council have supported a survey on the quality of the new U.S. soybean crop. This survey is intended to provide new crop quality data (composition characteristics) to aid international customers with their purchasing decisions. This year’s report has been completed and made available to soybean customers.
The survey involves researchers at the University of Minnesota requesting representative soybean samples from farmers. The request for soybean samples is weighted and based on total land devoted to soybean production in each state in an attempt to closely match U.S. soybean production. This year 1,518 soybean samples were returned for analyses. The samples are analyzed for protein, oil, and amino acid concentration by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) using a Perten DA7250 diode array instrument with calibrations developed by the University of Minnesota and in cooperation with Perten. Regional and U.S. average values were determined by weighting averages based on production values for each state.
Overall, when compared with the 2017 crop, the average protein concentration was 0.2 percentage higher and the oil concentrations were 0.2 percentage lower. Compared with the long-term average (1986-2017), 2018 US soybeans were 0.4 percent lower in protein and similar in oil. The sum of protein plus oil was 53.1 percent; these values should allow soybean processors to simultaneously achieve both good soybean oil yields and reasonable protein concentrations in the resulting soybean meal.
Table 2 provides information on amino acid levels in soybean meal. There was little regional variation for lysine (expressed as a percent of the 18 primary amino acids) or for the other essential amino acids (cysteine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine and valine) measured. The amino acid balance and quantity of essential amino acids are critical to optimum animal/bird performance. These results indicate there are only minor differences between regions which result in a consistent soybean meal that benefits feed formulators.
Table 3 provides a historical look at average protein and oil values for soybean meal during the duration of the quality survey (1986-2018). One can see a small change in soybean composition over the 30-year period; protein seems trending about a percentage lower whereas oil concentration of the soybean seems to be similar.
This study demonstrates that the composition of U.S. soybeans and soybean meal are consistent year to year. The feed formulator can rely on soybean meal’s consistent nutrient values in their efforts to produce high quality feeds needed for livestock, poultry and aquaculture operations.
USSEC 2018 Soybean Quality Survey Data
** Regional and US average values weighted based on estimated production by state estimated by USDA.
USSEC 2018 Soybean Quality Survey Amino Acid (AA) Data
** Five essential amino acids (cysteine, lysine. methionine, threonine & tryptophan
*** Seven essential amino acids, five listed above plus isoleucine & valine
**** Regional and US average values weighted based on estimated production by state estimated by USDA.
Historical Summary of Quality Data of U.S. Soybeans
** Sum is the total of protein and oil concentrations