Suzanne Shirbroun sits at her kitchen table using the S

Suzanne Shirbroun, northeast Iowa farmer, ISA director, and NCSRP board member, sits at her kitchen table using the SRIN website. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

From scouting to pest concerns, website covers the bases

February 15, 2021 | Heather Lilienthal

As farmers make production decisions, they seek dependable and accessible data results from trusted research sources. The Soybean Research & Information Network (SRIN) website, www.soybeanresearchinfo.com serves as a one-stop, farmer-focused resource for soybean farmers in Iowa and across the country. 

To promote checkoff-funded production research, the United Soybean Board (USB) partnered with the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) to create the dynamic, online resource for farmers, researchers and industry professionals. 

Dynamic return on investment 

This centralization of checkoff-funded soybean research results and information drives soybean production and the industry forward. It focuses on raising awareness and demonstrating the effectiveness through success stories from farmers and researchers. 

As a northeast Iowa farmer, Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) director, and NCSRP board member, Suzanne Shirbroun says the SRIN website continues to be a trusted and often-used source on her operation, especially during pest and disease scouting season. 

“I can access an overview for each pest or disease, as well as scouting protocol and management tips,” explains Shirbroun. “Then, if I want more information, I can click on the sources listed. It’s a great opportunity to learn from several different university and industry experts.” 

Evolving to meet farmer needs 

The information on SRIN continues to evolve. It now features state-specific statistics with interactive fact sheets where Iowa farmers, can learn about priority research funding areas, innovative research projects and success stories resulting from putting research into action. 

“The SRIN website is the source to find the best information available,” Shirbroun says. “The management tips are timely, so every soybean producer can be confident about the info gleaned from this site. This is a great use of our soybean checkoff dollars. It's an excellent resource to ‘favorite’ on the smart phone.”

Top Iowa Funding Areas 

  • Breeding for improved genetic gain, yield potential and quality 
  • Disease, insect and weed management 
  • Integrated in-field and edge-of-field research 
  • Integrated cropping systems solutions demonstrations, tech assistance and decision tools 

Recent Projects 

  • Integrating genomics/genetics, phenomics, breeding, engineering, pathology and entomology into accelerated soybean breeding programs 
  • High-yielding soybean trials and real-time forecasting 
  • Understanding soybean gall midge, an emerging insect pest 
  • Improving CRISPR gene editing in soybeans 

Checkoff Dollars at Work 

Innovations and success don’t happen overnight. A sustained investment in the highest priority, highest value, best coordinated and most effectively executed and communicated research and outreach brings significant value to farmers in the short- and long-term. A meaningful soybean checkoff research portfolio must be promoted and communicated substantively for farmer benefit, leveraged support and industry growth. Research investments span production, expanded and new uses and markets for food, feed, fuel and fiber. 

Future of Production 

  • Basic and applied research to expand existing uses and markets 
  • Research to open new uses and markets for soybeans and soy products 

Sweet Success: One of the biggest success stories in Iowa as a result of research 

The formation of the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund. This fund brings new public and private partnerships to pay farmers for developing and implementing agronomic and conservation practices and infrastructure. The goal is to increase profitability while improving soil health, soil conservation, nutrient management, water quality and flood mitigation. The current fiscal year checkoff investment in production research sits at $3,911,000.

 

This story was originally published in the February 2021 issue of the Iowa Soybean Review.


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