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Dordt College News

Low-lin soybeans value-added crop for local farmers

December 12, 2006

A new variety of soybeans with low linolenic acid content may be a good value-added alternative for local ag producers, according to a field trial conducted by the Dordt College Agriculture Department in 2006.

Conventional soybean varieties have an eight percent linolenic acid content, and food processors hydrogenate the oil to make it more stable. But when hydrogenated soybean oil is heated, it causes trans fats. New low-lin soybean varieties contain only three percent linolenic acid, eliminating the need for hydrogenation and the undesirable trans fat by-product.

In the 2006 Dordt College field trial, three varieties of low-lin beans were grown, with yield results comparable to traditional varieties. Asgrow’s 2421V topped the yield average with 65.7 bushels/acre; followed by MSG RV3190 with 63.9 bushels/acre, and Stine 2303-94, with 63.3 bushels/acre. The test plot was planted at a population rate of 163,350 seeds/acre.

“With all food products sold in the United States now required to list trans-fat content, the outlook for low-lin beans is very favorable,” said Ron Vos, professor of agriculture at Dordt. Restaurant chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Culvers have announced they are switching to non-hydrogenated cooking oils to reduce trans fat, and the New York City Board of Health recently voted to adopt the nation’s first major municipal ban on the use of all but tiny amounts of artificial trans fats in restaurant cooking.

Monsanto predicts 1.5 million acres of their low-lin brand soybeans will be planted in 2007. Producers will grow the soybeans under contract with participating soybean processors, which will crush the grain, refine the oil and market that oil to food companies. Participating processors will offer growers a premium for the VISTIVE soybeans.

 

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