The AstroTurf® GameDay Grass™ product is built with a soy-based backing, called BioCel®, which uses soy-based-polyol technology developed with support from the soybean checkoff. The soy turf is used to carpet football, baseball, softball, soccer and other recreational stadiums across the country. In football alone, GameDay Grass™ is being used in stadiums for the St. Louis Rams and more than two dozen universities, colleges and high schools.
Soy is increasingly being used as a replacement for petroleum-based products. The use of soy oil for industrial products increased 50 percent since 2006, said United Soybean Board New Uses program chair Bob Haselwood. While the industrial uses for soy outside of biodiesel make up only a small percentage of the soybean market, he says finding uses for soybean oil is beneficial for the entire market.
“The main purpose of soybean always has been, and still is, for animal feed,” Haselwood said. “Crushed soybeans give you meal and oil. If we can use that oil product, it can actually help make meal less expensive for livestock producers.”
Football fields are just one example of the increasing demand for soy-based and other bio-based industrial products. The soybean checkoff helped fund 32 new soy-based products that hit the marketplace last year. Haselwood said some of the latest soy oil research is going into developing fiber products—nonwoven materials like disposable wipes, hospital scrubs and diapers.
“We spend money and research on new uses that do not always turn into a product, but the more we invest in it, the more knowledge we gain,” he said. “And by doing that we are able to glean information for another project.”
The New Uses program in the United Soybean Board includes a long list of products on the market, which can be included in a new labeling system announced earlier this year by the USDA BioPreferred program. For more information on soybean New Uses, go to http://unitedsoybean.org/topics/new-uses.
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