Science News 01/03/2010

Soybean genome was mapping

A team, supported by United Soybean Board, has already yielded new discoveriesNew soy products aid in sustainable agriculture

Completing the soybean genome sequence map – a team effort the U.S. farmer-driven United Soybean Board supported – has already yielded new discoveries, among them:

- Ways to make soybeans grow in the most extreme climates around the world.
- Ways to make soybean oil a better and sustainable ingredient for biodiesel.
- Helping to make our energy sources, like the U.S. agriculture system, as sustainable as possible.

The United Soybean Board, a U.S. soy research and promotion group representing the nearly 600,000 soybean farmers across the country, supported the soybean genome mapping project, spanning several years and published recently in the journal Nature.

Another way the United Soybean Board promotes soybeans and sustainability includes helping new soy-based products come to fruition, thus replacing petrochemicals.

“We solicit soy research applications, review the concepts and select them based on their technical merit and market potential,” says Marty Ross of the process by which the Board looks for products to fund. Ross, chair of the United Soybean Board’s New Uses Committee, adds “Number one, the product must be technically feasible – can it be done? And, number two, just because it can be done, is it viable?”

Last year, United Soybean Board volunteers found plenty of viable products with 26 new soy-based products hitting the market with the effective and efficient organization’s help. Products included soy plastics, coatings, inks, solvents and adhesives. For a full list of these soy products, visit the United Soybean Board’s Soy Products Guide.

U.S. soybean farmers are committed to using sustainable production methods to meet the needs of present and future generations. U.S. soybean farmers continue to adopt technology and best practices to increase productivity while remaining to be good stewards of the environment.

di S. C.