Benson Hill: Perdue trial confirms benefits of high-protein SBM in poultry

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/libin jose
© GettyImages/libin jose

Related tags Benson Hill Soybean meal Poultry Perdue Farms

Benson Hill recently wrapped up a feeding trial with US chicken producer, Perdue Farms, aimed at demonstrating the value of incorporating meal derived from its Ultra-High Protein, Low Oligosaccharide (UHP-LO) soybeans into broiler diets.

Previous research pinpointed three pivotal attributes of UHP-LO soy, making it appealing to animal companies, soybean processors, and farmers: elevated protein levels, reduced anti-nutritional factors, and competitive yields, notes the Missouri-based company.

Perdue's broiler feeding trial, spanning 42 days and involving over 2,400 chickens, assessed various parameters such as FCR, weight gain, feed costs, foot pad quality, overall animal health, and growth rates.

Reduction in feed costs

Results confirm that the inclusion of UHP-LO soybean meal throughout all phases of broiler production delivered a significant reduction in feed costs while maintaining performance, reflecting the higher protein and metabolizable energy inherent in the company’s proprietary soybean genetics, comments Kurt Long, vice president at Benson Hill.

Feed cost reduction is achieved due to the increased protein and reduced oligosaccharides in the product, he explains.

“Benson Hill soybean breeders have focused on leveraging the natural genetic diversity of soybeans to develop a high-protein variety class that also contain quality traits specific to animal feed applications. This class has around 15% more protein than most commodity soybean varieties which translates to more than 16% higher protein in the soybean meal,” he maintains.

In the UHP-LO soybean meal, protein is concentrated up front in the bean - this results, he says, in an improved vegetable-based diet for nutritionists and feed formulators:

“Concentrating protein in the soybean creates a soybean meal that is more sustainable. We get more protein per pound of meal used, resulting in less impact - and fewer resources used - per unit of protein.

“In addition to our protein advantage, this variety class also has lower levels of oligosaccharides, which are complex carbohydrates that most animals cannot digest. By replacing these complex carbohydrates with more digestible sugars, like sucrose, nutritionists can get more calories from the meal, which supports cost reduction efforts," Long tells us.

The company intends to conduct further animal feed studies across swine, poultry, and aquaculture segments over the next two years.

Herbicide-tolerant varieties

Long affirms the company’s commitment to enhancing UHP-LO soybeans, emphasizing increased protein, amino acids, soybean yield, and oil percentages across a broad maturity range to maximize agricultural value. Its current soybean varietities are non-GMO but the company plans to introduce herbicide-tolerant varieties by 2026 and 2027, which he claims is crucial for broadacre adoption.

Regarding the economic and environmental advantages of widespread UHP-LO soybean meal adoption in animal feed production, he says that in the feed industry, every margin counts: "With feed being the primary cost in animal production, our soybeans, engineered for higher nutritional density and better digestibility, empower producers to reduce costs, enhance productivity, and align with consumer demands for nutrition, sustainability, and animal welfare. Demonstrating value throughout the supply chain, as seen in our trial with Perdue, opens avenues for profitability from farm to animal producer."

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