A farmer scouts a field that impacted by herbicide-resi

A farmer scouts a field that was impacted by herbicide-resistant weeds near Jefferson. The North Central Soybean Research Program recently approved funding for several projects to control herbicide-resistant weeds and the resulting yield drag that they cause. (Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

NCSRP approves funding for 10 projects to benefit soybean farmers

October 29, 2020

Iowa soybean farmers will continue to benefit from regional research efforts in 2021.

The North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP), is a multi-state collaborative effort that leverages checkoff funds and research expertise and outreach to support soybean farmers and drive the industry forward. In August, the NCSRP board of directors, made up of 13 soybean-growing states, approved funding 10 university-based projects for just under $3 million for fiscal year 2021.

“These projects will provide multi-faceted value for soybean farmers and the return of investment of checkoff dollars is incredibly strong as we have worked to avoid redundancies in research and create dynamic synergies among our researchers and the accompanying outreach,” explains Ed Anderson, NCSRP executive director. Anderson also serves as senior director for research at the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA).

The research projects address a number of areas including agronomics and production, biotechnology, breeding and germplasm development, disease management, insect pests, soybean cyst nematode, and sudden death syndrome.

“Most of these are broad-range programs,” added Anderson. “In the last few years, we at NCSRP have worked to avoid one-off projects and overlapping research. This simply brings more value to our soybean farmers It’s gratifying to see such talented researchers working together to do such good work for an on behalf of our farmers.”

ISA directors serving on the NCSRP are quick to point out the reasons why this work and checkoff investments are vital to their businesses.

“These 10 projects represent a broad range of issues relevant to soybean production. The collaboration of soybean state associations, industry leaders and researchers is significant to soybean profitability and sustainability,” said District 4 Director Jeff Frank, who farms near Auburn. “It’s important for growers to know that their checkoff dollars are being used to help make soybeans more profitable for both the producers and end users. NCSRP works hard to keep this on the forefront of their decisions.”

District 3 Director Suzanne Shirbroun pointed out the role production research plays in U.S. soybean demand, too.

“It’s key that we invest soybean checkoff funds to strengthen demand and increase new uses of soybeans, but, as always, we first need to have all the tools to successfully grow enough soybeans that meet the quality expectations of our domestic and international customers,” she said. “And while we know we can’t control Mother Nature, she’s one of our biggest challenges. If research projects like these funded by NCSRP can help us better understand how weather affects weeds, pests and more, we can work to keep up with or get ahead of what she brings us.”

To learn more about the NCSRP go to www.ncsrp.com. Results from 2020 projects and mid-term reports for these focuses will be posted on the Soybean Research & Information Network (SRIN) at www.soybeanresearchinfo.com.

NCSRP-approved projects for FY2021 are:

“Boots on the Ground: Validation of Benchmarking Process Through an Integrated On-Farm,” Shawn Conley – University of Wisconsin
Goal: To evaluate agronomic practices with greatest potential for increasing soybean yields for a given combination of climate and soil Technology Extrapolation Domain (TED and demonstrate KEY management factors in each state (and across the US NC region) that can increase on-farm soybean yield, input-use efficiency, and net profit while minimizing the environmental footprint.

“Comparison of Non-Chemical Control Methods as Part of an Integrated Weed Management Strategy in Soybean,” Kevin Bradley – University of Missouri
Goal: To battle herbicide-resistant weeds (sch as palmer amaranth and waterhemp) and evaluate use of electrocution as part of a non-chemical, post-emergence weed management program.

“Non-transgenic generation of herbicide resistance in soybean using CRISPR base editing,” Feng Qu – Ohio State University
Goal: To assist growers in controlling weeds through a non-transgenic approach using CRISPR for generating novel herbicide resistance traits.

“SOYGEN2: Increasing soybean genetic gain for yield & seed composition by developing tools, know-how & community among public breeders in the north central US,” Leah McHale – Ohio State University
Goal: To achieve greater genetic gains in soybean yield and quality by applying SOYGEN (Science Optimized Yield Gains across Environments) to leverage and build upon ongoing and previously-funded work to increase soybean genetic gain for yield and seed composition by developing tools, know-how and community among public breeders in the north central US.

“Multi-pronged strategies to provide efficient, sustainable, and durable control of Sclerontinia stem rot - Year 3,” Damon Smith – University of Wisconsin
Goal: To evaluate soybean management practices, including irrigation, row spacing, population density, and fungicide treatment for control of Sclerotinia stem rot by developing an advisory tool to bring a quick, modern, usable reference into the hands of farmers and scientists.

“Soybean Entomology Research and Extension in the North Central Region,” Kelley Tilmon – Ohio State University
Goal: This proposal involves collaborative research among 25 researchers in 13 states, working on four main program areas encompassing extension/outreach and farmer feedback, Insect management and profitability, aphid resistant varieties and virulence management, and insect monitoring. The objectives within these programs address the efficient, cost-effective insect management.

“Soybean Gall Midge:  Surveying the North Central Region, Adult Monitoring and Host Plant Resistance,” Justin McMechan – University of Nebraska
Goal: To offer a comprehensive insect survey to determine if gall midge is an issue and provide farmers with critical information necessary for initiating management practices to mitigate losses for soybean gall midge.

“An integrated approach to enhance durability of  soybean cyst nematode (SCN) resistance for long-term, strategic SCN management (Phase II),” Andrew Scaboo – University of Missouri
Goal: To create a long-term management strategy for SCN through knowledge and soybean germplasm development, including increasing the diversity of SCN resistant varieties and identifying SCN reproductive genes.

“The SCN Coalition:  Advancing Management,” Samuel Markell – North Dakota State University
Goal: To increase awareness of new SCN threats and mitigate and prevent SCN-caused yield loss through a SCN coalition that provides education and best practice research for farmer.

“Developing an Integrated Management and Communication Plan for Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome,” Daren Mueller – Iowa State University
Goal: To evaluate the use of seed treatments, fungicides, in-furrow, foliar fungicides, and incorporation of related SCN management strategies. Effective control of SDS goes beyond resistant varieties and must include an integrated management plan.