Illinois Soybean Association, Dalex reduce time required to identify soybean feed value at the variety level from three weeks to about two hours
When the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff-funded High Yield PLUS Quality (HY+Q) program uncovered up to billions of dollars of potential livestock feed value hiding at the variety level, it represented a game-changing development. It also created a challenge: calculating feed value for nearly 50,000 soybean samples took five people three weeks, making it difficult to get soybean quality data to farmers in time to make seed-selection decisions.
The solution: Dalex Livestock Solutions and a software modification that helps reduce the analysis calculation to about two hours. This means the soybean feed value analysis can be completed and data made available to livestock nutritionists and producers much faster. Soybean producers also benefit because they gain critical insight into feed value rankings at the variety level to aid in their seed-selection decisions.
The Dalex software modification makes it possible to quickly compare the feed value of thousands of soybean samples, which will help the checkoff increase soybean quality and value faster for farmers, livestock nutritionists, seed companies and numerous others who can benefit from quick variety-level livestock feed value information.
Now one nutritionist can run more than 50,000 samples through Dalex in about two hours, thanks to the software modification.
Improving Feed Value
ISA statisticians analyzed the sample data to see which varieties deliver the highest livestock feed value over time. The entire process ISA developed brings a new criterion to farmers when selecting soybean seed, which the United Soybean Board adopted in a summer 2020 ad campaign: A livestock feed value score.
More Sustainable Amino Acid Source
ISA discovered significant differences in livestock feed value at the variety level. ISA also determined that these differences could reduce feed costs in a grow-finish swine operation by up to 40 cents per pig and nearly three cents per broiler, based on amino acid levels, if all farmers selected soybean varieties with high livestock feed value. This amounts to an estimated $456 million annually in improved soybean value if the bottom 50 percent of the soybean samples were as good as the top 50 percent, according to ISA research.
Farmers can see which varieties perform best in livestock feed and order a free sample kit to get their soybeans tested at www.soyvalue.com.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean growers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean innovation and profitability efforts, issues analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C. through the Illinois Soybean Growers. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the marketplace. For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org.