Qualimap Guide

How to Use the ISA QualiMap

As you scroll over the nine districts highlighted on the ISA QualiMap, individual data for each district will appear. To help understand what the values mean, a short summary of each value has been provided.

ASD Detail View

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service has established nine Agricultural Statistical Districts (ASD) in Illinois. These nine districts are also referred to as Crop Reporting Districts. The ASD Detail View provides you with the average protein and oil percentage, as well as the average EPV per bushel in each district. This chart also identifies the composition of soybeans with the highest and lowest EPV recorded in each district.

1   Soybean Oil & Protein

Soybeans are valued for their oil and crude protein components in the seed. Soybeans typically contain 18 to 20% oil and 34 to 36% crude protein. The industry standard target is 19/35, or 19% oil and 35% crude protein in soybeans. The processor wants a higher oil content, which means more oil to sell. The feed industry wants high crude protein because it promises a greater supply of amino acids in the soybean meal.

2   Estimated Processed Value (EPV)

The Estimated Processed Value is a calculator that illustrates the total value of end-products in one bushel of raw soybeans. This is based on the protein and oil content of the soybeans as well as residual hulls. If the yield of meal, extracted oil, and hulls from soybeans is known, the EPV calculates the processed value (the sum of meal, oil and hulls values) based on the market prices for soybean meal, crude soybean oil and hulls.

EPV is affected by soybean protein and oil content and the market prices for soybean meal and soybean oil. For example, soybeans may be selling for $12.87 per bushel. However, based on oil and meal levels and market prices, the value of the end-products may be higher by $2 to $3. Raising the oil and/or protein levels increases the value of soybeans for the processors, and the EPV calculator illustrates that increase.

Comparison View

This chart compares the averages for the selected district with the industry standard, identifying either the areas of excellence or those areas that need improvement. Please note that for ease of reporting, data have been rounded to the nearest hundredth decimal. In some cases, this may slightly affect the calculations in the “Over (under) Target” figures.

3   Oil and Meal in a Bushel

A bushel of soybean weighs roughly 60 pounds, and it contains about 11 to 11.5 pounds of oil and 43 to 44 pounds of protein. The remainder is hulls and a little moisture.

4   Meal, Oil and Hulls Value

The product values are determined by the products' respective yields and market prices. The meal, oil and hulls prices used to calculate EPV were the November 2012 average prices published by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service in its "Central Illinois Processor Report." Soybean oil prices trade between $0.40 and $0.50 per pound, meal trades for $425 to $475 per ton, and hulls trade between $180 and $200 per ton.

5   Meal Price based on Protein Level

Soybean meal is sold based on 47.5 percent crude protein. However, soybean meal can contain more or less crude protein.  When it contains more crude protein, meal will be blended with hulls to reduce the protein level to 47.5 percent and extending the value of that original meal for other uses. When it contains less than 47.5 percent, it will carry a discount, or it will be blended with soybean meal with protein greater than 47.5 percent to bring a low protein meal up to specifications.

Weather Impact on Quality

Oil and protein levels are impacted by the weather. Generally, a hotter climate means lower yields and a bump in crude protein. A cooler, moist season typically means bumper crops and a drop in crude protein. 2012 was both hot and dry, priming us for a season with low yields and higher crude protein levels. While yields were less than normal, they weren’t as bad as expected considering the length and severity of the drought. However, crude protein levels were lower than expected, running more in line with crude protein levels from a bumper crop season.

Important Note: Soybean oil and meal levels are reported on a 13% moisture basis for the whole bean. As moisture goes down, oil and protein levels increase.