Independent university and commercial agricultural scientists have discovered a giant leap forward in farm revenue and food sustainability.
First, they discovered billions in feed value hiding at the soybean variety level. That is because some soybean varieties deliver higher nutritional value than others. Fortunately, it’s easy to pick a soybean variety with superior nutritional quality at zero farmer cost, without sacrificing yields.
Then, the same team discovered that more soybean protein naturally boosts corn demand, reduces livestock feed costs, and cuts lifecycle GHGs. Proactivism reunites crop and livestock farmers to increase natural feed demand, and help food companies reduce livestock GHGs faster.
There are several barriers to farmers earning more money and consumers getting more sustainable food. These barriers can be overcome:
- Seed companies and most of the soybean industry do not focus on improved soybean protein with few exceptions, including Benson Hill, AgReliant, and Syngenta. Others have disregarded decades of nutritionists’ warnings that soybean protein is declining, because they don’t get paid directly for nutrition quality.
- Farmers naturally select soybean varieties for yields. Most are unaware that soybean protein levels have been sliding for decades, or that fixing the decline improves soybean value and corn demand.
- Processors set soybean meal prices based on protein. That pricing hides value compared to selling based on amino acids, which nutritionists use to formulate livestock diets.
- Ethanol producers sell DDGS, a highly nutritious co-product that competes with natural feed. They price this to out-compete soybean meal and corn. That has cost family farmers billions in lost sales. The DDGS have double the emissions intensity of natural feed.
- Most livestock nutritionists are unaware of the connection between maximum soybean meal quality and achieving sustainability targets.
- Agriculture is organized into crop and livestock groups, instead of being seen as the interconnected ecosystem it actually is.
ProActivism Feed Solutions
Here’s how supporting ProActivism helps improve family farm revenue and advance sustainability:
- INDEPENDENT SCIENCE – We have nearly 8 years of science-based, USDA-reviewed, field-level variety data on soybean nutrition, but each year there are new varieties.
- Ongoing data collection and analysis are needed to determine which new soybean varieties deliver the best feed value in livestock feed.
- Annual harvest data analysis is needed to know which soybeans deliver the most value for each species, and growth stage.
- Proactivism has a network of livestock specific websites under development building on our work with SoyValue.com. Additional reporting is needed on soybean value for each livestock species and growth stages.
- Farmer and customer education programs with independent funding are essential to the facts can be freely shared. Farmers cannot get paid for value they don’t know about. This means funding is needed for:
- Advertising campaigns in farm and consumer magazines
- Industry relations programs that bring a disconnected farm sector back together around the basics of how farming and feed naturally work together.
- Value-sharing negotiations are needed for groups of farmers, to ensure the people who deliver better nutrition get paid their fair share of the sale.
- We need your support to hire legal and political experts to help get financial support for farmers who are helping achieve important sustainability goals.
- The more farmers who sign up and agree to plant the best soybeans, the more data power they have to get paid more through negotiations with soybean buyers
- Swine Value Variation Article
The article Characterizing Soybean Meal Value Variation across the United States: A Swine Case Study, describes the original research by the independent FieldRise and Blue Spring teams that found the feed value variations hiding in soybean varieties.
- Educational Flyer
How you can help
Support Proactivism Financially – We’re raising money to make sure grassroots food and energy sustainability science can be heard and these seeds of new hope find good soil. Farmer and consumer education are needed to inform everyone what’s hiding behind decades of slow declines in the quality of the world’s corn and soy.
Sign up to join the movement – We will send updates for you to post on social media or share in your corporate communications, to help support farmers and the families they feed.