Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Take On The Old Bean

Two big mysteries in soybeans have captured my attention,” says USDA-ARS soybean researcher Tommy Carter. “One is how Asians, as many as 5,000 years ago, domesticated soybeans without benefit of technology, pre-Mendel. We still don’t understand how they did it.

“The other one is how soybeans in Sweden became resistant to a wide range of stresses like drought and ozone, salt and cold, unlike anything we’ve seen. No one plant has all these stacked resistances and no other genetic line of soybeans has this. Why?”

That's an ancient Chinese secret!  Tommy raises a very good point as we try to provide high quality plant protein for world needs.  As you know, I've been interested in soybeans most of my life as they became the most important cash crop in many places, places like where I live.  Ohio has the soil and climate to produce a very good and desirable soybean that has many uses.

This year one of Dr. Schillinger's varieties and one of Dr. Cooper's took their place on our farm over my old standby Jacob.  That bean was very good to me and these are even better this year.  They may not be next year.  Highland shows promise for this region and a blend of them and Jacob may be better yet.  Keith tells me "you haven't seen anything yet, Ed", as he is working with World Food's varieties.  If we could make those semi-dwarf, we might really be into something.  High quality, high yielding soybeans less than 2000 seeds per pound peaks my interest.

Soybeans are my main source of farm income, closely followed by wheat and corn.  My soil and climate produces good soybeans.  We are blessed to have 3 non GMO buyers within 100 miles of the farm and they bid competitively on the beans we produce.  Double cropping soybeans behind wheat has been an income producing enterprise for us.

Since we have to use a full residual and burn down on our soybeans anyway, a competitive bid on non GMO soybeans makes most sense for us.  More buyers are discovering the advantage of our high quality non GMO soybeans in southern Ohio and that is good for both of us.

Ed Winkle


  1. And let's not forget the oil, with a great fatty acid composition. 20% oil, 40% protein, no wonder this miracle plant has one of the greatest requirements in nutrients: Argentina is losing its soil because of it, you should go there teach them something for your next vacations, and bring a cargo of radish seeds! Not even kidding...

  2. We've been invited to help a group in South America, Chimel. It's funny you bring this up. I don't know if it's the right outfit or the right reason to go but we are considering it.

    The phone and email has been ringing off the wall this week and I can't keep up!