In 2019, Agtegra had a unique opportunity--it was the only farmer cooperative that could offers its grower customers the option to grow Calyxt soybeans.
Calyxt soybeans are a high-oleic variety, which is the first gene-edited soybean available to grow in the U.S.
“To have a partner with Agtegra with their amount of boots on the ground and having great relationships with their customers to offer our soybeans–it’s a great relationship,” says Tom Stoddard with Calyxt. “And what makes us unique is then we contract to buy back 100% of the crop grown.”
The Calyxt soybeans are processed for high oleic soybean oil, which can contain 20% more oleic acid than olive oil, and is in demand by food ingredient and food service customers.
“What can be really powerful about our product, is that let’s say a customer wants soybean oil only grown in one particular state because they want to label something as ‘local’ and we can do that,” Stoddard says.
For growers, premiums range from $0.65 to $1.15 a bushel over Chicago Board of Trade prices. Product stewardship does require training in cleaning out the planter, combine, and storage bins as well as considerations for fall herbicide as it is a conventional soybean.
“Calyxt soybeans allow my customers to match their acres’ potential agronomically and economically. This harvest season many of our yields have been coming in meeting and often exceeding our expectations when they have been positioned on what we generally consider our more challenging acres. Capturing the premium and basis has just been a nice bonus for our growers.” says Austin Shroyer, Agtegra Sales Agronomist, Stickney S.D.
This year, Agtegra accepted delivery of Calyxt soybeans at two of its South Dakota elevators with segregated storage: St. Lawrence and Kennebec.
Next year, Calyxt is releasing five new varieties, which includes tolerance to Phytophthora and soybean cyst nematode. For 2020, the company is planning to expand to 100,000 acres. And Agtegra is adding delivery options to two additional South Dakota elevators: Mansfield and Yale.