Friday, October 9, 2020

Soybean Quality: A spotlight on Plant Protein Science and Technology Forum presenter Dr. Seth Naeve

Dr. Seth Naeve's presentation, "Soybean Quality: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," is part of the Plant Protein Science and Technology Forum session, "Emerging Technologies for Plant Protein Quality-Based Supply Chains – US Soy." 

This presentation's learning objectives:

    • Evaluation of soybean quality
    • Environmental impacts on soybean quality
    • Better measures of soybean quality

    You can still register for the Forum to view this presentation's live stream on Tuesday, October 13, and join the rest of the Forum.

    Meet Dr. Seth Naeve

    A brief biography: Dr. Seth Naeve is a Soybean Agronomist with the University of Minnesota and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics.  Dr. Naeve’s research program focuses on the development of novel strategies for the efficient production of high-quality soybean. His research efforts are split between analyzing genetic, environmental, and cultural effects on soybean seed quality (oil, protein, fatty acid, amino acid, and carbohydrate composition) and researching management strategies to maximize production efficiencies.  These activities are centered in the north-central region of the US, specifically in Minnesota where about 8 million acres of soybean are produced each year. Seth was raised on a corn and soybean farm in Northern Iowa and received his bachelor’s degree in Biology and Ph.D. in Agronomy (Crop Production and Physiology) from Iowa State University.

    1) What discoveries from your previous research inform the work you plan to discuss at the Plant Protein Science and Technology Forum?

    We have conducted many surveys of the quality of US and international soybeans and soybean meal over the past 20 years.  We have a good understanding of spatial and temporal variation in a wide range of soybean constituents. We are interested in secondary and tertiary constituents that may add value to soybean or processed soybean for various end uses. We have also examined trade-offs in various soybean quality traits. From an applied perspective, we are interested in assisting farmers produce a crop that is best suited (and of highest value) for the end-user.  

    2) What is the significance of the research you plan to discuss at the Plant Protein Science and Technology Forum, either for future research routes or for real-world applications?

    As purchasers become more sophisticated, they are better able to communicate to the market what specific traits they find valuable. As markets become more sophisticated, these value demands can be more efficiently transmitted back to the origin. Ultimately, farmers will produce what the end-users desire, rather than simply what can be produced in the greatest volume.  

    3) Describe the biggest problem you encountered and solved during your most recent project? 

    Conventional wisdom has maintained that soybeans may vary in quantity of protein, but that protein’s quality is relatively static. We now have a very good understanding of the trade-offs in amino acid balance across ranges of protein level.

    4)  Share a turning point or defining moment in your work as a scientist and/or industry professional.

    First, acceptance that soybean is a “protein seed” not an “oilseed”.  

    Second, acceptance that soybean does not store protein, it stores nitrogen. 

    5) What excites you about your work?

    I find the search for applied solutions for today’s food systems drives me.  

    6) What are potential future directions for the work you are discussing at the Plant Protein Science and Technology Forum?

    The contribution of soybean meal to ration’s total energy likely varies considerably.  We are now taking a deep look into the carbohydrate fraction of the soybean (and meal). 

    7) What do you like to do when you are not in the lab or presenting at meetings?

    I love spending time tending to the backyard of my suburban home. 


    Dr. Naeve's presentation is scheduled for October 13, part of the Emerging Technologies for Plant Protein Quality-Based Supply Chains – US Soy session.  Find out more about the full technical program.

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