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Soybean and Soybean Meal – Dairy

March 2018

A new comprehensive overview of the use of soybean products for dairy cattle has been published by Extension specialists at Penn State University. This review concludes that incorporating soybeans and their byproducts is an excellent source of essential amino acids, high quality protein, degradable, undegradable and soluble protein, energy, fat and fiber to supplement forage-based dairy rations. Depending on the amount of heat used in processing, soybean and soybean meal can also be a source of rumen undegradable protein (RUP) in the diet. The publication provides an in-depth review of several soy protein ingredients and their proper role in dairy feeds. Included are:

  • Raw soybeans
  • Heat-treated soybeans
  • Roasted soybeans
  • Extruded soybeans
  • Solvent-extracted soybean meal
  • Dehulled, solvent-extracted soybean meal
  • Expeller-extracted soybean meal
  • Cooker-expelled processed soybean meal (SoyPlus® & Soy Best®)• Extruder-expeller processed soybean meal (Soy King®, InstaSoy-XP® & SoyMax®)
  • Non-enzymatically browned soybean meal (Soy Pass®)
  • Soyhulls

The publication also provides a wealth of information on the composition of soybean and their byproducts, measurement of proper heat treatment and the importance of particle size of roasted soybeans. Bottom line, this reference is a comprehensive review of the proper use of soybeans and soybean byproducts in dairy rations and should be required reading for those interested in dairy cattle.