Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont, is partnering with UniPro Foodservice, Inc. to introduce Versa Premier High Oleic Soybean Frying Oil. The primary ingredient is Plenish soybeans.
Plenish is a high oleic soybean variety that can be crushed to create an oil that is with high stability and comparable olive oil. Versa is sold in 35-pound containers and will be available to UniPro’s 400 member-owners who operate more than 850 distribution locations.
“This product will provide our Cooperative Members with a high-performance cooking oil with a healthy oil profile for customers,” says Bob Stewart, UniPro CEO. “And we’re glad to support U.S. soybean farmers by incorporating Plenish soybean oil into the Versa brand.”
Farmers who grow high oleic soybeans earn up to a 50 cents premium on each bushel they sell. There are four processors currently accepting the products: ADM, Bunge, Perdue and CHS. Pioneer says Plenish is on 350,000 acres and 13 states this year and expects to double demand in 2019.
“Plenish is the first GM product that has direct consumer benefits, while in the past the benefits have been to the grower,” says Pat Arthur, Pioneer soybean category leader at Corteva Agriscience. “We are investing in better varieties for the grower. We’re testing herbicide tolerant traits and have Roundup Ready 2 Xtend in the pipeline to include in the Plenish lineup.”
For Indiana farmer, Tom McKinney, growing high oleic soybeans has provided him with an additional $30 or more per acre. Because of this, he’s growing high oleic soybeans on more than 1,000 acres this year.
“Managing Plenish isn’t all that different,” McKinney says. “You have to clean out planters and combines, which takes maybe 45 minutes and is a non-event for your ROI.”
McKinney says in the five years he’s grown high oleic soybeans he’s never seen a yield drag in his 2.7 to 3.4 maturity soybeans. He avoided buying new grain bins [because the soybeans need to be isolated for identity preservation] by shifting his current grain stocks around and using smaller bins on share leased or cash rented farms [with landowners he has relationships with] or on family owned ground.
“I think we’re at the tip of this thing [farmers planting high oleic] exploding,” McKinney says. “That additional 50 cents per bu. can be the difference in making money or not.”