Soy-Backed Turf Scores Again

South Dakota

U.S. soybean farmers scored big with the new Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex at South Dakota State University (SDSU). The field at the indoor athletic complex is a synthetic turf product that contains a soy-based backing product.

Developed with support from U.S. soybean farmers through their soy checkoff and manufactured by AstroTurf, the renewable product, called 3D RootZone, incorporates BioCel® soy-based polyurethane in the backing to which the grass-like turf is rooted.

United Soybean Board Secretary Lewis Bainbridge, who is an SDSU alumnus and proud father of a former SDSU football player, introduced the idea of using soy turf for the new field. Bainbridge joined Barry Dunn, dean of SDSU’s College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and director of SDSU Extension, and the South Dakota farming community in bringing the idea to life.

“There are more than 13,000 soybean farmers in the state of South Dakota, many of whom have ties to the university and extension,” Bainbridge says. “We, as farmers, are enthused we were able to help develop a product for our land-grant university.”

SDSU is not the first to install a soy-backed AstroTurf product. Approximately three years ago, Kansas State became the first NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision institution to install soy turf on its game field. Today, fields used for many sports at every level of competition feature soy-backed surfaces. Click here to see if a venue near you uses AstroTurf.

This is just one example of U.S. soy the soybean checkoff supports as part of its mission to help research, develop and promote additional ways to utilize the crop and add demand for U.S. soybean oil. Every year, thanks in part to checkoff funding, dozens of new soy-based products reach the marketplace.