Grain News

Illinois Soybean Assn. Funds Southern Illinois University Carbondale Research Targeted at Increasing Demand

Date Posted: September 19, 2012

Bloomington, IL—Enhancing farmer profitability by increasing demand for soybeans and soy products is the goal of three new soybean research projects recently approved for funding by the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA).

The soybean checkoff-funded studies will be conducted at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC).

"The projects have the potential to increase soybean demand by demonstrating the effectiveness of soy products in the diets of animals and humans," says Don Guinnip, soybean farmer from Marshall, Ill., and ISA director.

"Checkoff-funded research like this conducted at universities across the state helps the industry keep striving for new and innovative uses for soybeans."

One study this fall will explore traumatic brain injury recovery of rodents consuming soybean oil enriched with stearidonic acid (SDA).

The compound is a high source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to protect against brain injury and are in high demand by the body during recovery from significant trauma.

The study will examine the effectiveness of SDA-enriched soybean oil compared to other sources of fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil and fish oil, showing whether humans with traumatic brain injury could benefit more from soy-based diets.

Other SIUC researchers will explore the consequences of using alternative non-animal protein dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) in livestock diets in place of soybean meal.

Prior studies have established that DDGS contains three times the concentration of toxic chemicals called mycotoxins.

Funds will go toward new lab equipment, allowing researchers to determine if feeding DDGS instead of soybean meal increases toxic chemical levels in livestock tissues and negatively impacts livestock performance and health.

The third study aims to determine the effectiveness and ruminal digestibility of forage soybean haylage.

Previous research at SIUC found forage soybeans to be a high-yielding, highly nutritious protein source for livestock with a fast regrowth rate.

The new study will compare digestibility of forage soybean haylage to alfalfa, grass hay and a grass/legume mix.

The data will show how many nutrients are obtained per acre for each type of forage crop to determine which type is most sustainable and requires the least land to produce.

Checkoff funds will be used to restore the lab's fermentation system needed to conduct the study.

"The three projects show the versatility of soybeans and soy products in various markets.

"The studies will allow Illinois farmers to see how their beans are being used to benefit end users and that demand for soy is high," says Mickey Latour, SIUC College of Agricultural Sciences dean.

For more information, call 309-808-3610.

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