Whether you are a soybean buyer, animal and aquaculture nutritionist, ingredient buyer or business owner, there’s no question that U.S. Soy earns a spot as a key ingredient in your portfolio. New science-backed data proves U.S. Soy is not only a higher quality ingredient but can also improve the profitability of your operation by delivering more nutrient value than that of soy from other origins.
U.S. farmers have long known and promoted these nutrient advantages but did not have the data to back the commercial claims. After nearly a decade of research and thousands of testing samples, data capture and feed analysis, we finally have concrete numbers and a suite of tools to share with you. Now, you can see for yourself how U.S. Soy compares to soy from other countries and will increase your enterprise’s profitability.
U.S. Soy Nutritional Profile
Soybean meal is the primary source of protein for the feed industry worldwide, and its importance will only increase as the global population continues to grow, and thus demand for animal proteins. U.S. Soy is constantly innovating to deliver a valuable, consistent and more economical product that research shows is consistently better or comparable to other origins.
A new meta-analysis — the most comprehensive quality review of soybean meal from different origins that has ever been conducted — brings clarity around soybean meal quality from different origins. This review of 18 studies and 1,944 samples quantifies the relationship between country of origin and the chemical composition, protein quality and nutritive value of soybean meal.
The analysis, titled “Chemical composition, protein quality and nutritive value of commercial soybean meals produced from beans from different countries,” included soybeans from Argentina, Brazil, India and the United States.
The study demonstrates that not all soybean meals are created equal. Based on this evidence, nutritionists need to consider country of origin when formulating feed rations for swine and poultry diets.
“One of the main points from the study is that customers should be using different matrices for the evaluation of the nutritional value of soybean meals of different origins,” explains Dr. Mateos.
“If they buy only based on protein or vegetable sucrose content, they may buy a product that is actually lower quality. Therefore, it is important to check all the values that are related to the nutritive value of the soybean meal before making the purchase decisions, which this study addresses.”
Among protein sources of plant origin, soybeans have the highest crude protein content, a balanced amino acid profile and a high level of digestibility. Understanding more about the chemical composition, protein quality and nutritive value of commercial soybeans enables us to better determine important agricultural outcomes.
Calculated by measuring the nitrogen content of food, higher levels of crude protein were found for soybean meal from Brazil than from that of the United States, and it was the lowest in soybean meal from Argentina. But it’s not just about crude protein; it’s about digestibility and overall performance. Let’s dig deeper.
Defined as the indigestible but partially fermentable component of feed, both CF and NDF were higher for meal originating from Brazil and India than for that of the United States and Argentina. This is consistent with most published research.
Soybeans contain nearly as much carbohydrates as they do protein. The carbohydrates in soybean meal consist of free sugars, oligosaccharides, some starch and non-starch polysaccharides. Of particular importance is the disaccharide sucrose — a highly digestible carbohydrate that when present in meal, increases the energy content and palatability of the feed. Sucrose was higher in soybean meal from the United States and Argentina than that from Brazil and India. The same can be said for oligosaccharides such as stachyose. Meanwhile, raffinose was lower.
Critical for animal function, amino acids are responsible for the growth and development of an organism from building muscles and regulating the immune system to generating hormones and neurotransmitters. There are 20 AAs that comprise the genetic code. These can be arranged in an infinite number of combinations to create functional proteins. Out of these 20 amino acids, there are 10 that animals cannot make. Animals can recycle some amino acids to build new proteins but other amino acids such as lysine, methionine and threonine are only to be obtained through feed. With 10 essential and 10 non-essential amino acids, soybean meal is cost effective in supplying essential amino acids and has very good lysine content and digestibility. Soybean meal is also ranked high in threonine digestibility.
The energy content of soybean meal depends on the content and digestibility of the protein fraction and on the sucrose, oligosaccharide and fiber content. Apparent metabolizable energy (AMEn) is used to generate energy values of soybean meals for feed formulations; however, it does not take into account the digestibility of the protein fraction or the difference in sucrose and fiber content. As such, current matrices likely under-evaluate the real contribution to energy of soybean meal from the United States. In spite of having a lower crude protein content, soybean meal from the United States had similar or even higher energy content for poultry and swine than soybean meal from Brazil, suggesting higher protein digestibility.
With higher sucrose levels, a well-balanced amino-acid profile, higher digestibility, increased metabolizable energy and lower fiber content, protein quality traits are better for soybean meal from United States than from other origins. Take a look at the meta-analysis and see for yourself.
Profitability: Look Beyond Protein
How does all this play out when it comes to production efficiency and the profitability of swine and poultry operations? That’s what nutritionists and feed formulation specialists wanted to know. With this goal in mind, Genesis Feed Technologies constructed a software tool known as the soy Nutrient Value Calculator (NVC) to bring visibility into feed costs.
The soy Nutrient Value Calculator builds on the nutritional data provided in the meta-analysis to help traders and buyers better analyze the economic value of soybean meal in global markets.
The software takes into account feed formulas that are representative of the regional feed manufacturers, shares Peter Schott, CEO and co-founder of Genesis Feed Technology. Nutrient values and prices of all the other components of the diet are also used in this calculation.
The NVC indicates that U.S. soybean meal is the leading contributor to cost reduction in broiler diets.
When comparing cost reductions with incorporation of data from the meta-analytical study, premiums that can be earned by using U.S. soybean meal in feed production range from $14.57 to $23.24 per tonne over Argentine soybean meal and range from $2.48 to $10.26 per tonne over Brazilian soybean meal.
U.S. soy and soybean meal products offer a price advantage and rank No. 1 on a number of important nutritional attributes when compared to other origins, including remarkable amino acid and energy profiles.
“While amino acids and energy might not seem exciting, small changes can lead to big increases in profitability,” Schott explains.
“We’ve built a platform that combines formulation data with ingredient quality and price information. Now feed enterprises can make informed, profitable decisions that reduce costs.”
Ultimately, this tool gives traders and buyers a platform to connect with nutritionists directly to better inform their feed investments, Schott says.
Book a demo of the soy NVC with an in-country representative of U.S. Soy, and discover how you can do more than cut costs … you can improve the efficiency and profitability of your company as a whole.
U.S. Soy: Dependable Quality
Fact: Not all soybeans are created equal.
U.S. farmers are known for producing high-quality soybeans, but “quality” has as many definitions as there are uses for soy. For some, high-quality means high crude protein, minimal foreign material and uniform size and appearance. But research shows quality also influences energy composition, according to Dr. Gonzalo Mateos, a professor of animal science at the Polytechnic University of Madrid in Spain.
It all comes back to quality, he says, noting that some things are out of growers’ control. Regional variables include soil quality and the levels of phosphorus, iron and potassium. These vary by soil type and the amount of fertilizer or manure that is applied. Additionally, Mateos explains the oil and amino acid composition fluctuates based on where it was grown, and this depends on latitude, humidity, temperature and hours of daylight — all factors out of anyone’s control.
“This is important because every raw material’s sugar content, even coffee, is influenced by latitude and altitude,” Mateos says. “While most people are concerned with the quality of the meal, I believe you have to be concerned with the quality of the bean; garbage in equals garbage out.”
The quality of soybeans improves as you move farther away from the Equator, where heat and humidity are not detrimental. Mateos explains that when you move closer to the equator, where the humidity is higher, an increased percentage of soybeans begin to germinate during storage and shipping and that is when you begin to lose energy.
“It’s not latitude by itself, it’s what latitude implies: daylight, humidity and temperature,” Mateos says. This, along with the many practices deployed by the U.S. Soy value chain, is why U.S. farmers are able to consistently deliver the highest quality soybean, and as Mateos said what you start with matters when you go to feed it as a source of energy and nutrients to animals, such as poultry, swine and fish.
Dare to Compare: U.S. Soy A Gold Standard
The meta-analysis and the soy NVC show the superior protein value of U.S. soy based on its amino acid profile. It also demonstrates through comparisons of different feed formulations, both species specific and development-phase specific, why U.S. Soy is likely to be more commercially valuable to your enterprise when compared with soy from other origins. Once you integrate U.S. soybean meal into your feed rations, you’ll see why it’s considered the “Gold Standard.” We dare you to compare the advantages of using U.S. Soy now and in the future. Year after year, harvest after harvest, U.S. Soy delivers proven, consistent quality, reliability and value to earn its role as a trusted partner around the globe.