Sep 16, 2019

The Calyxt® High Oleic Soybeans grown in the Agtegra countryside are looking good, according to Sales Agronomist Brent Larson.
“These beans look really decent, overall,” says Larson. “They fit our growing area nicely and provide consistent yields typically seen in the western cornbelt. Add in the fact that this has been a year of anything but normal, and that makes their performance even more impressive.”
Agtegra Cooperative is the sole retailer offering this unique growing partnership. The Calyxt varieties are the first commercially available gene-edited soybeans available in the marketplace.
The beans produce Calyno™ High Oleic soybean oil, which has a nutrition profile similar to olive and sunflower oils.  This means a healthier oil for consumers plus three-times longer fry life which will benefit food manufacturers. With its 100 percent traceable supply chain, the demand for Calyno by food manufacturers and food service companies is outpacing commodity oil usage. And that, says Larson, means good things for growers who are willing to take on a few extra stewardship and management steps, in exchange for the Calyxt premium.
As a non-GMO, an effective conventional weed herbicide system must be used. There are also some stewardship steps required to meet the company’s consumer-focused Identity Preserved Program.
However, with that demand, comes some value. Premiums range from $0.65 to $1.15 a bushel over Chicago Board of Trade prices. The amount can depend upon ability to store, number of acres contracted and the sign-up time frame. “So there’s incentives for earlier sign-ups and storage capability, but there’s still some pretty good value and opportunity for growers looking at a specialty crop that is really poised to take off,” says Larson.
This year, the company only had one variety available to Agtegra growers. For the 2020 growing season, more choices will be available. “The company is rolling out five new varieties, which will cover some different maturity groups,” says Larson. Several of the new varieties will also have tolerance to Phytophthora and soybean cyst nematode.
With harvest nearly underway, Agtegra will take delivery of Calyxt soybeans at segregated storage sites located at Agtegra St. Lawrence, SD and Kennebec, SD locations. Customers signing up to grow Calyxt in 2020 will have additional delivery options at Agtegra Mansfield, SD and Yale, SD locations. 
If you’re thinking about growing Calyxt soybeans for next year, there are a few agronomic management points to consider, notes Larson. As a non-GMO, they are not resistant to glyphosate, glufosinate and/or dicamba-based products. “Start talking with your agronomist now about herbicides,” says Larson. “Growers might want to consider their pre-options this fall, so they go into spring with a clean field. A good weed control program is obviously essential, no matter the crop. But with these beans, you’re getting paid to take a couple of extra steps, setting you up and apart with this crop.”
In 2022, the company will also be rolling out gene-edited wheat, which will produce a higher fiber flour, used in products like pasta and bread. 
With today’s world marketplace and the China trade-war situation, Larson notes this is one way for countering negative commodity exposure. “Overall Calyxt has more demand for the oil than they can produce right now,” says Larson. “Here’s a way we can increase some acre returns by raising a value-added crop that is in demand by consumers.”

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