What is high oleic?

Launched commercially in 2012, farmers currently grow high oleic soybeans in 13 states throughout the U.S. soybean belt with the highest concentration of acres in Ohio and Indiana.

High oleic soybean varieties produce oil that contains higher levels of oleic acid, increasing stability, and offer customers a more functional U.S.-grown product without sacrificing yield. The soybean industry continues to work to increase acreage of high oleic soybean varieties to meet increased demand for high oleic oil.

Marketing the trans-fat-free attribute of high oleic oil can help recover markets lost to partially hydrogenated oils.

Why is it important?

The soy checkoff is positioning the qualities of high oleic soybean oil to capitalize on expanding markets and contribute to greater farmer profitability. High oleic soybean oil provides a sustainable, U.S.-grown product for food, feed and industrial users. High oleic soybeans increase the value and competitiveness of U.S. Soy across global and domestic markets. This benefits all U.S. soybean farmers.

Moreover, high oleic soybeans meet demand for oil that performs under high-heat conditions. The success of high oleic soy hinges on timely farmer adoption and long-term demand commitment from end users. The soy checkoff maintains communications to farmers and end users to encourage production of and demand for high oleic soybeans.

What is happening now?

Farmers in 13 states grew high oleic soybeans on more than 800,000 acres in 2022. Food businesses are the top end users, with about 70% of high oleic soybean oil used in food manufacturing. High oleic soybean oil contains beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids and less saturated fat, providing a health alternative to many cooking oils, with greater shelf stability and fry life.

Farmers will have access to 15 varieties of high oleic soybeans in 2023, with available maturity groups ranging from 1.9 to 4.8 across all regions within the existing market. Available varieties include Plenish® from Corteva, Vistive® Gold from Bayer and SOYLEIC®. On average, farmers can gain $2 more per bushel when evaluated against conventional soybeans. By 2024, the market is expected to sustain production from more than 1 million acres throughout the U.S. (source)

Key messages

  • The checkoff recognizes that high oleic soybeans have the potential to revolutionize the soy industry. From increased food functionality to nonfood uses, high oleic soybeans add long-term value for all U.S. soybean farmers by providing a product that meets the demand of new and emerging markets.
  • The soy checkoff is committed to help expand contracted acres and delivery locations to make this specialty soybean available to more farmers.
  • High oleic soybean varieties deliver the same agronomic advantages and performance that farmers expect from their traditional soybean varieties.
  • High oleic expands markets for soybean oil demand in frying and baking as well as high-heat nonfood uses. It doesn’t take away demand for commodity soybean oil, which still meets the needs of many food and nonfood customers.