Breeding for Economic Impact
Soybeans are the second highest grossing crop in the US, with an average annual production value over the last 3 years (2016-2018) of more than 40 billion dollars. Two products of soybeans drive its economic impact: oil, used for food and industrial applications, and meal, primarily used in animal feed. Along with seed yield, crude oil and protein concentration in the soybean seed determine the quantity of these products produced on a per acre basis, respectively. Trends show that breeding efforts which have primarily focused on yield improvements over the last 80 years has led to an increase in yield and oil concentration but a decrease in protein concentration. This breeding strategy may not be maximizing the economic impact of soybean. There are three primary objectives of this research: (1) develop an accurate formula for estimating the processed value (EPV) of soybean cultivars on a per acre basis using yield and seed concentrations of crude oil and protein as input, (2) integrate the EPV formula into a publicly available R based module that considers a multi-year average economic value for soybean oil and meal, (3) use the module to rank advanced and preliminary breeding lines and compare these ranks to ranks based on yield alone and yield with minimum cutoffs for crude protein and oil. Achieving these objectives will help breeders develop soybean cultivars and germplasm that balances yield with protein and oil content in order to maximize the production value on a per acre basis.
Research Aide: Alonso Lab, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH January 2017 - December 2017
Research Assistant and Lab Manager: Alonso Lab, University of North Texas, Denton, TX January 2018 - November 2018