New Conventional Soybean Offers High Protein, Competitive Yield

September 23, 2015 03:00 PM

As feed markets increase demand for conventional soybeans with superior yields and high protein levels, the Natural Soybean and Grain Alliance (NSGA) has high hopes for UA 5814HP, a new variety commercially available beginning in fall 2015.

UA5814HP, branded as Ashlock HP5A by the NSGA, may offer grain producers a wider profit avenue due to increased premiums.

Ashlock HP5A is a vigorous variety aimed at high seed yield and protein to meet the demand from the high-end poultry industry.

“We see emerging markets and growing interest in conventional soybeans,” says Kelly Cartwright, executive director of NSGA. “Our goal at NSGA is to provide practical options for producers so they can increase their bottom lines.”

Developed by Dr. Pengyin Chen, renowned soybean breeder at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Ashlock HP5A offers growers lower planting seed cost, high protein levels, no yield drag, and potential for premium pricing, according to Chen. “The protein level averages 5% better than other commodity soybeans and yield is very competitive with the leading commercial MG 5 varieties. Hopefully, we’ll have 10,000 acres planted next year with acreage expected to increase over time.”

Jason Smith of SMS Planting Co. in Watson, Ark., has 80 acres of Ashlock HP5A in 2015, planted on raised beds with 30” row spacing at 134,000 seeds per acre. He says the variety has held strong in his fields, particularly after 8.5” of rain on July 5. “The bottom 30 acres were under water for almost three days. Many farmers lost beans completely, but this 5814 was tough and only 10% died. 5814 handled the excess water great and that’s so important.”

Ashlock HP5A was NSGA branded in honor of Dr. Lanny Ashlock, known as ‘Mr. Soybean’ in the Mid-South. With a career in soybeans dating back to 1960, Ashlock has played a tremendous part in guiding growers across the state and Mid-South. He was an Extension soybean specialist with the University of Arkansas and played a lead role in pushing soybean yields in Arkansas through producer adoption of early maturing varieties.

“Dr. Chen provides so many options for our growers and this variety has so much potential for the agriculture industry as a great fit for livestock, particularly poultry producers. It’s very humbling to have my name attached to this soybean and truly a tremendous honor," says Ashlock, who was recently inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame.

For more information on the Ashlock HP5A variety, contact the Natural Soybean and Grain Alliance at 479-841-3699 or

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