Thoughts About Soybeans

I was talking with a gentleman the other day from Orange City, Iowa. The conversation started on the subject of a tractor but eventually blossomed to include harvest. I have been asking people about how their soybeans have ran this year. My answers have ranged anywhere from about 7 bushels in the very dry areas to much higher. The Orange City, Iowa farmers said he had averaged just under 70 bushels an acre which is really good. Just a few farms away, they had missed rain and the yields were not so good. He also said that land in the area went for anywhere from $12,000 to $20,000 an acre so I’m not sure this really pencils out.

Anyway, I got soybeans on the brain so I thought I would check into some uses for them. The vast majority of beans are used for salad or cooking oil-almost 40 percent while 28 percent are used for biodiesel while about 24 percent is used for baking or frying. High-Oleic soybean oil is a special type used for frying. It lasts longer in the deep-fryer and lets the taste of the food shine through as it creates no flavors of its own. It also has no trans fat and less cholesterol than coconut oil.

One use that you might not consider for soybean oil is the tires on your vehicle. Goodyear has experimented with soybean oil as an ingredient in vehicle tires. Soybean oil mixes readily into a car tire recipe and greatly improves traction.

Soybeans are also there to provide feed for cattle and hog operations. Now if there was just a way to separate all the benefits of the soybean from the Asian Lady Beetle that seems to gravitate to any field of soybeans or to structures near fields of beans.