Petri dish with soybeans

Iowa Soybean Research Center funds new research at ISU

November 29, 2022

By Kara Berg, Iowa Soybean Research Center communications coordinator

The Iowa Soybean Research Center (ISRC) has awarded $300,000 in support of two soybean research projects at Iowa State University (ISU), reaching a $2 million milestone in soybean research funding by the center.

The ISRC’s Industry Advisory Council, which includes Iowa soybean farmers, industry partners and the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), met in September to consider a wide range of research ideas and to provide guidance on how to invest the available funds. Thanks to an increase in the number of industry partner and continued increases in financial support provided by ISA, the Center is funding two projects. Projects include:

Continuous soybean cropping research. Sotirios Archontoulis, ISU professor of agronomy, will receive funding to develop field research locations and initiate study of a continuous soybean cropping system in Iowa. The project will collect and accumulate relevant knowledge to aid in decision-making in future years. Currently there are no soybean-after soybean cropping system intensive research locations in Iowa. In some countries, such as Argentina, a soybean-after-soybean cropping system is common. Archontoulis will collaborate with Mark Licht, associate professor and Extension cropping systems specialist in the agronomy department, and Mike Castellano, soil science professor. Greg Tylka, professor in the department of plant pathology and microbiology will also be involved in this project.

Effects of seed treatments on seed and soil microbiome. Gary Munkvold and Larry Halverson, professors of plant pathology, entomology and microbiology, will receive funding to study the effects of soybean seed treatments on the seed and soil microbiome. Seed treatments are known to improve crop performance, but there is little information about how seed treatments affect microbial colonization in the zone in the soil surrounding a seed as it germinates or how long these effects last. Researchers will study the reaction of soil microflora, including pathogens, to the presence of different seed treatment products on soybean seeds. The results will help make informed decisions about seed treatment usage.

ISRC added six new industry partners over the past year; 17 industry partners now support the center.

“ISRC appreciates the continued support of the Iowa Soybean Association and our industry partners, and we thank the Iowa State researchers who submitted ideas,” says Tylka. “I am continually amazed at the high quality of the research ideas that are presented to the Center and have noticed many researchers now are collaborating more, combining their talents and knowledge in different areas of expertise.”

“As membership on the ISRC Industry Advisory Council continues to grow, so do the contributions and commitments from insightful council members,” says Ed Anderson, ISA senior director of research and chair of ISRC’s advisory council. “There were many good, collaborative research ideas presented, and it was interesting to see which projects the industry partners and the farmer representatives came to a consensus to fund.”

ISRC is a formal collaboration of Iowa soybean farmers, industry partners, ISA and ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Current industry partners include AGCO Corp., Albaugh, LLC, AMVAC Chemical Corporation, BASF, Bayer CropScience, Beck’s, Cornelius Seed, Corteva Agriscience, FMC, GDM, Innvictis Seed Solutions/Simplot Grower Solutions, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, Merschman seeds, The Mosaic Company, Peterson Genetics, Inc., Syngenta and UPL. Each industry partner has a representative who serves on the Center’s advisory council along with three farmer representatives. The council meets annually to provide feedback on what research they would like to see funded.

About the Iowa Soybean Research Center

ISRC was established in 2014 by ISU in partnership with ISA. The Center was founded to increase soybean production and profitability for Iowa farmers through coordinated research efforts involving ISU, ISA and the private sector. Information on becoming an ISRC industry partner is available by contacting center director Greg Tylka, 515-294-0878 or