Currently, the university researchers have soybean lines in the final process of testing. “Preparing a line is really time-consuming,” says Stobaugh. “It actually takes 12 years from the start to when it is in a farmer’s hands.

“By using a winter nursery, you can get it down to 10 years. That’s why we send second and third generations of promising lines to winter nurseries.”

The team is “making 190 crosses — different combinations — or more, a year. Several high-protein lines are in the pipeline. Others are showing real promise with abiotic stresses. There are lines in process that will come out shortly.”

The researchers are also looking at sugar and oil content in the soybeans. “We want to ensure we have the proper amount of sugars, oils and types of fatty acids. We’re looking for low linolenic, lower saturated fats and increased oleic acid. We’re looking hard at lines that could be used for food-grade oil along with lines for biofuels.”

e-mail: dbennett@farmpress.com