Current Research Projects
The Pennsylvania Soybean Board awards grants for research projects focusing on crop management practices that will directly impact the state’s soybean producers. Additionally, the Board provides research grants for projects related to education and market development, as well as projects in support of Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture industry. Animal agriculture is the largest domestic user of soymeal and the largest sector of Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry.
FISCAL YEAR 2019 (October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019)
Research and sponsorship projects designed to provide reliable crop production data to soybean growers and to support Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture industry have been awarded checkoff grants totaling more than $365,000 by the Pennsylvania Soybean Board.
Funding grants were approved for the following research projects:
Pennsylvania On-Farm Network (Penn State) — The Penn State Research Experiment Farms and Pennsylvania growers participating in the On-Farm Network will test a variety of products and management practices. New projects this year will address questions on how to deal with compaction, especially after record rainfall, with a focus on no-till environment. Another new research trial will focus on good inoculation practices based on observations made from successful practices in Brazil. Last year, growers in 27 counties participated in the research.
Sentinel Plot Program (Penn State) — The sentinel plot program will be run in collaboration with Penn State Extension to provide soybean growers with statewide assessment of insects and diseases active in soybean fields. Soybean fields in 23 counties throughout the state will be scouted weekly for insect pest and disease population. Reports of the scouting results will be reported weekly via Penn State Extension-based outlets.
Soybean Variety Trials Under Pennsylvania Conditions (Penn State) — Soybean early and late-maturity variety trials will be conducted at three locations in Pennsylvania. More than 100 commercial varieties and experimental cultivars will be evaluated.
Using Precision Ag Data to Refine Soil Fertility Management (Penn State) — The project will allow growers and agronomists to synthesize information contained in multiple datasets to identify differences in soil fertility levels across a field. By identifying zones within a field that have low fertility levels, producers can vary the rate of nutrients to achieve higher yields with a more economical use of fertilizer.
Best Management Guidelines for White Mold (Penn State) – The persistent annual risk of white mold requires development of a proactive approach to understanding the importance of different risk factors, as well as farm-level economics to incorporate new changes on the farm. Research will investigate best management practices for the control of white mold.
Thrips Attraction to Volatiles of Viruliferous Soybeans (Penn State) –Soybean vein necrosis (SVN), a viral disease, causes development of shriveled, deformed seeds with reduced germination percentage and decrease in oil percentage, seed weight, protein content and fiber content. This project will investigate thrips/soybean plant interactions to determine if volatile compounds emitted by diseased plants are more attractive than those emitted by healthy plants. Information may allow the development of thrips attractants than can be used in traps.
Developing Proactive Herbicide-Weed Management for No-Till Soybeans (Penn State) — Herbicide-resistant weeds, including Palmer amaranth, waterhemp and horseweed, remain a primary pest management challenge for no-till crop producers in Pennsylvania. This project focuses on management of Roundup-resistant weeds and opportunities to reduce input costs associated with weed control programs in no-till soybean.
Impact of Soybean Inclusion on Late Gestation Sow & Litter Performance (Penn State) — Least cost diet formulations have become a normal method of primary diet formulation in the swine industry. Many producers have elected to move forward with changes to ingredients without supportive research in all stages of production. This research will investigate the effect of variable soybean inclusion rates, as compared to standard synthetic amino acids, for protein balance fed during late gestation on sow and litter performance at farrowing.
Impact of Soybean Particle Size on Poultry Performance and Digestibility (Penn State) – The poultry industry consumes more soybean meal than any other animal ag sector in Pennsylvania. Optimizing soybean particle size (PS) maximizes nutrient utilization and bird performance, but also minimizes soybean processing energy expenditures for PS and prevents bridging and flowability issues with the meal and final feed. The study will measure the impact of soybean PS on pullet chick growth in a mash-type diet, on nutrient digestibility, on broiler performance, and if pelleting the diet masks the effects of particle size.
Incidence of Influenza D Viruses in Pa. Cattle (Penn State) — Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is the number one disease of dairy and beef cattle. Growing evidence shows that newly discovered influenza D viruses (INDs) are major players in BRD. The project will aim to isolate and characterize IDV to evaluate the prevalence and genetic diversity of these viruses to reduce losses to the cattle industry.
Ability of Roasted High Oleic Soybeans to Increase Milk Fat Yield (Penn State) — The research will evaluate whether feeding high oleic soybeans at increasing rates will increase milk fat. The objective is to demonstrate that fat intake is limiting milk fat yield in high-producing dairy cows, and high oleic soybeans are a safe and inexpensive source of dietary fat.
Deciphering the Soybean-Microbe Interactions in the Rumen of Dairy Cows (University of Pennsylvania) – Feed is the largest cost on dairy farms. The research will scientifically evaluate the dual benefit of improving milk production and lowering feed costs when soy products are included in dairy cow rations.