Agriculture graph on iPad

Driving research to reality

August 31, 2023

Welcome to a new monthly segment in the Iowa Soybean Review, which focuses on the insights derived from the Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA) Research Center for Farming Innovation (RCFI) research and programming. Each month, agronomists and researchers will provide technical insights on agronomic and conservation topics from their research and experiences.

The research conducted throughout Iowa by the RCFI team is made possible through your checkoff investment. With guidance from the RCFI Advisory Committee, we are strengthening our efforts in communicating the results from these research efforts to help you make informed decisions on your farm. In doing so, we further our commitment to continually improve using the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle of progress. We introduced the concept of PDCA to Iowa farmers during our Innovation to Profit webinar in March. Our team is focused on continual growth and improvement, just as you are on your farm. We make plans, check the progress as often as necessary or valuable, understand the progress or value of our current path, and then adjust our plans. We continually work to improve our program to be efficient, effective and valuable to Iowa farmers.

Graph with soybean yield data


In our long term cover crop trials we have observed that soybeans have a yield reduction in the first year of use and following years see no reduction in yield.


In future issues of this magazine, you will learn more about manure management research and the effect of cover crops on nutrient loss and nitrogen efficiency, the process of restoring an oxbow pond and the expected benefits, and the collaboration to drive nitrogen research with Iowa State University’s Iowa Nitrogen Initiative. We’ll also explore the feasibility and value-add that an ag water drainage project can bring to your farm and the results from soybean management projects. You can also get involved in the research and projects that will be described in these pages. Contact us if you want to host a research location on your farm. We want to help you answer questions on your farm and ensure that all of Iowa is represented in our research.

The goal of sharing information in the magazine is to create another outlet for information that can positively affect farmers’ profitability, productivity and sustainability. We look forward to providing results from research completed by the RCFI team or the benefits of a conservation practice. The authors will provide insights to help you understand how to implement an agronomic or conservation practice and the potential benefits that effort could bring to the field or farm. Easy-to-read messages, charts and other information — like those accompanying this installment — will be provided to highlight the most important points of the research.