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Friday, May 6, 2016

Diverse uses for soybeans

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last week, I discussed some of the history surrounding soybeans since they are being celebrated during the 2011 Indiana State Fair.

However, the history of soybeans does not show all of the great value that we get as consumers from this commodity that local farmers love to grow.

Thus, this week, I want to discuss some of the items that we use in a given year that are made from or utilize soybeans.

Many individuals love to know that they are fed Indiana-grown beef, dairy, chicken, pork, and fish.

What they may not realize is that one of the main food sources for livestock is soybean meal.

That is because soybean meal is a high-quality, high-protein food item that can be produced easily here in the state.

Not only is soybean meal produced here in Indiana to feed to Indiana livestock, it is also fed to animals around the nation and world.

In addition to making soybean meal from the soybeans that Indiana farmers produce, soybean oil is produced within the state.

Soybean oil can be used for a variety of different items that we use on a daily basis. When used as a source for vegetable oil, it can be used to fry or cook food, in margarine and salad dressings, also in soy milk and tofu.

Many of the baked breads, crackers, cookies and pies that we consume also contain soybean oil at some level.

Soybeans are not just used for food within the state of Indiana. Soybean oil is also used as fuel for diesel engines, crayons, soyInk, and other products.

If you have been to the state fair anytime in the last few years, you have been impacted by soy biodiesel since the tractor shuttles are ran on it.

One of the benefits of the soy biodiesel is that it is a clean-burning energy.

Prang crayons is one of the brands that is currently offering crayons made from soybeans and have done so for several years now.

Additionally, this time of year, many individuals will be selling candles made from soybeans as yet another way to support this vibrant commodity grown throughout the Midwest.

The use for soybeans are diverse. From being used to feed livestock, to cook food for human consumption, as a food ingredient, for tractor fuel, crayons and much more. The uses for soybeans are unlimited.

Currently, research is being sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance for the Purdue University's Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Civil Engineering Departments on using soy-based products to develop an effective concrete sealer. Hopefully, in the coming years, this research will be complete along with other projects that will help make soybeans an even more valuable commodity to Indiana farmers.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Dec. 24 -- Extension Office closed,

* Dec. 30-31 -- Extension Office closed.