A delegation of Korean soybean buyers made some Indiana stops Monday as part of a U.S. visit with the U.S. Soybean Export Council. Indiana Soybean Alliance hosted the group as they made a handful of stops including the ADM crushing facility in Frankfort and Mike Beard’s Meadowlane Farms nearby. Beard, a United Soybean Board director, has 15 percent of his soybean crop dedicated to high oleic beans, something the Koreans are very interested in.
“This traited soybean represents a healthy oil,” he said. “It’s a more stable oil for use in cooking. It will give us a chance domestically to get back a part of that market that we’ve lost, but it also gives us an opportunity to sell something new to our international customers. I think the Koreans perked their ear about this. They know what we’re talking about and if we can get to the point where the high oleic trait represents a reasonable amount of our production, I think this will be a shining star in the future of the soybean industry.”
USSEC Country Director for Korea, Say Young Jo, confirmed Korea is anxious for high oleic products to make it to the export pipeline. He told HAT the delegation was updated on those prospects during the ADM visit.
“People we met there predicted that anytime around 2020 we’ll have access to that high oleic soybeans and soybean oil.”
Beard is fortunate to have that Frankfort facility just down the road.
“Logistics play a decent amount in the decision making as to whether you’re going to grow a new trait. We’ll continue to support this. I’ve been on the Qualisoy board for a couple of years now and watching this develop at the processing level, I just have so much great hope for the high oleic trait.”
Next HAT will report from this visit how Beard and neighboring farmer Levi Huffman assess the importance of the relationships Indiana farmers are cultivating with foreign customers.