C magazine

Soy circle: New soy uses build demand

Field of soybeans lit up by the sun

Soybean yields can now be protected with help from an adjuvant made from refined soy oil produced from soybeans grown by cooperative owners.

May 01, 2020

From the field to the processor and back to the field, new soy uses build demand. 

The best ideas usually come from the ground up.

About two years ago, a team of CHS agronomists, sales specialists and retail partners was holding its annual product discovery session. The group was discussing current product concepts and grower needs.

“At that meeting, our customers identified the need for a unique crop adjuvant that was superior to other products on the market,” says Troy Greenfield, manager of crop protection and digital products for CHS Agronomy. At the time, most agronomy adjuvants were made with unrefined vegetable or petroleum oil.

Someone in the group asked this question: “What if we tried using refined soybean oil as the key ingredient?” Greenfield connected CHS Agronomy Director of Product Development Brian Kuehl with soy oil refining experts in CHS Processing and Food Ingredients, and they began developing an adjuvant that delivered not only better performance, but other benefits to farmer-owners of the cooperative system as well.

All in the Family

“Creating superior products for our owner-customers is a top goal,” says Greenfield. “Using ingredients that come directly from their farms means we’re investing in the cooperative system and creating more value for the products they grow.”

Soy cycle chartClick image to view larger

The new line of adjuvants marketed by CHS Agronomy starts with soybeans grown by CHS farmer-owners. CHS crushes the soybeans and processes them into refined soy oil for many uses, including as a key ingredient in a new line of adjuvants. The adjuvants are sold for use with crop protection products through the CHS Country Operations retail network.

“It’s like we’re keeping it in the family,” says Kuehl.

Proof Points

Kuehl explains that the development team experimented in the lab with various ratios and percentages of refined oil and began with six adjuvant prototypes. The list was narrowed down to three trial products that were tested under field conditions.

“There was nothing but positive feedback from the retailers and farmers who used the formula last spring,” Kuehl says. “They said the quality was a night-and-day difference from other adjuvants, from handling, mixability and storage stability to how well the formula did what it is supposed to do: help the crop protection product stay on the target plant.”

Field of soybeans being harvested

Loading crushed soybeans

Soybeans grown and harvested by cooperative farmer-owners are trucked to the CHS soy processing facility at Fairmont, Minn., for crushing. Soy oil is refined at the CHS plant in nearby Mankato, Minn., for use in soy-enhanced adjuvants. 

Kuehl adds this development process was the fastest one he’s ever seen in bringing a product to market, not only because it was a high priority for customers who had asked for an adjuvant with these qualities, but because the trials went so smoothly, offering customers a solution to their challenges.

Future Expansion

This spring sees the first widespread use of CHS Acuvant™, the first product in the new line of high-performance adjuvants made from refined soybean oil by CHS. CHS Penetrec™, a crop oil concentrate that helps improve penetration of crop protection products into the plant surface, also includes refined soybean oil and is available for 2020.

Kuehl is already looking beyond this season to the possibility of expanding the pipeline of products using refined soy oil. “We’re excited to be working on a number of additional products, including ones specifically designed to work with new active ingredients from pesticide manufacturers.”

“We are proud of this lineup of products and being able to offer unique solutions to customers’ challenges that are backed by CHS and the farmers themselves,” Greenfield adds. “CHS Acuvant, CHS Penetrec and others in the pipeline embody the cooperative spirit we strive for every day at CHS.”

An Adjuvant That Begins and Ends in Your Fields

CHS Acuvant boxes on forklift

Soy-enhanced CHS Acuvant™ is part of a new line of high-performance adjuvants that includes refined soy oil.

CHS Acuvant™ is part of an exclusive family of adjuvants with soybean oil refined by CHS from soybeans grown by farmer-owners. The new drift control and deposition aid helps produce uniform spray droplets that are the right size for peak performance.

Droplets that are too fine can drift away from the target plant, says Brian Kuehl, director of product development with CHS Agronomy. If droplets are too big, they bounce off the leaf. But droplets that are the precise size lead to better deposition.

When using CHS Acuvant, growers can be confident crop protection products will adhere to the target leaf so they can penetrate the surface and go to work. Better deposition also makes products less likely to wash off during irrigation and rain.

When herbicides, fungicides and insecticides stay on target, the result is better weed, disease and insect control, adds Kuehl. “That’s how CHS Acuvant helps maximize input investments while protecting crops.”


LEARN MORE: Ask your local cooperative about soy-enhanced adjuvants from CHS.

Check out the full magazine with this article and more.