Overcoming the discount for low protein in Manitoba soybean

Crop Soybean
Start Date2019
End Date2022
Principal InvestigatorHouse, James, University of Manitoba
External Funding PartnersCanadian Agricultural Partnership
ReportHouse – GxE – MPSG Extension JAN 2020

Research Objectives

Soybeans grown in Manitoba have demonstrated lower crude protein values when compared to those grown in Eastern Canada or in the Southern US. Low crude protein (less than 33% on a 13% moisture basis) levels have led to discounted prices received by producers.  In order to address this “Manitoba Protein Deficit”, research is required to understand the factors (genetic; environment) that influence protein content, and whether focusing on the amino acid content of soy yields a better reflection of the feeding value of the resultant soybean meal. Therefore, the overall objectives of the current project include:

  1. Determining the effect of genotype and environment on the moisture, fat, protein and amino acid composition of Manitoba soybeans
  2. Developing rapid, Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR)-based methods to determine the amino acid composition of soybeans, to determine the Critical Amino Acid Value (CAAV; sum of key essential amino acids).

Project Description

Samples (n=2700) of soybeans from the 2018 MPSGA field trials were secured, scanned on the NIR system, and crude
protein and moisture content determined using existing calibration equations. A statistical sub-sample (n=140) was
subjected to full reference chemistry analysis (moisture, crude protein, amino acids), and the calibration equations were
refined. Preliminary data provided evidence that the CAAV was inversely proportional to crude protein levels. This data
shows that the feeding value of Manitoba soybeans may be underestimated if focus remains on crude protein values alone.
Attention should continue to find varieties that have a higher quality of protein, as represented by the CAAV, under
Manitoba conditions.