John Soper, Dennis Judd, Daria Schmidt, and Steve Sullivan
Pioneer Hi-Bred

This article looks at rising soybean demand, how technology is improving soybeans, and the challenges that soybeans derived from biotechnology face. To help meet the challenges of increased soybean demand, biotechnology tools are being used to develop soybeans with improved nutritional value and greater resistance to disease, herbicides, and drought. Producers are increasingly turning to biotech soybeans because of the cost and time savings and reasonable yield enhancement these soybeans offer. Future traits offer the promise of further crop protection benefits, higher yield, and grain value enhancement through oil and protein modification. Despite all the opportunities, biotech soybeans face numerous challenges. Because of the cost of technology and regulatory clearance, it is challenging for developers to capture an acceptable return on biotechnology investments. In order for the full benefits of biotechnology to be realized by the world’s farmers and consumers, global acceptance of biotech crops and grain is critical.

Key words: Biotechnology, molecular markers, soybeans, soybeans and meat consumption, soybean cyst nematode, soy protein.