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 2024 (October 1, 2023 – September 30, 2024)
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 $385,000 by the Pennsylvania Soybean Board.
Funding grants were approved for the following crop production research projects:
Pennsylvania On-Farm Network (Penn State)
In a continuing project, the Penn State Research Farms and Pennsylvania growers participating in the On-Farm Network will test a variety of products and management practices in order to promote sustainable practices that provide return on investment and drive new innovations to increase the value of soy. Field trials conducted at Penn State Research Farms are validated in real life by growers on their own farms. This is a large team project which includes growers, Penn State Extension educators, and researchers, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students from the Departments of Entomology, Plant Science, Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology. Projects will focus on best management practices for slugs, comparing pre-harvest broadcast and post-harvest drilled cover crops, and Ilevo seed treatment and microbiome/soilborne research. Refining 2-pass herbicide programs to improve stewardship of soybean seed-trait technologies, saved seed trials, and product testing program will also be incorporated in this project, as well as the soybean sentinel program and nematode monitoring program.
Development of Best Management Guidelines for White Mold in Pennsylvania (Penn State)
Diseases such as white mold can have a tremendous impact on production of soybean and other legume crops. Growers need to continually consider if, and to what extent, white mold will be a problem in their production fields and navigate to reduce the risk of the diseases causing significant crop loss on an annual basis. The project aims to conduct in-person surveys to quantify the extent and perceived risk of white mold for soybean production and conduct on-farm assessments of best management practices that incorporates field history, crop rotation, and cost of new equipment if rotation practices are changed.
Advancing Herbicide Resistance Monitoring & Quick Diagnosis for Pennsylvania Soybean Grower (Penn State)
Effective management of herbicide-resistant weeds is one of the greatest challenges in modern agriculture. The goal of this project is to establish an herbicide resistance monitoring program to provide timely detection of resistant weeds for Pennsylvania soybean growers. The monitoring program will be based at Penn State, and in the long-term will provide quick tests for soybean farmers to submit their weed samples for herbicide resistance diagnosis.
Adjusting Soybean Harvest Time to Reduce Late Season Yield Loss (Penn State)
Erratic weather late in the season threaten soybean yield and grain quality. There is a critical need for new studies aimed at quantifying the effect of harvest delays on profitability and identifying best practices to minimize harvest loss. This field experiment will investigate how soybean harvest time, across different planting dates and soybean maturity groups, affect soybean yield, quality and profitability.
Characterizing the Rumen Bypass Value of Unsaturated Fatty Acids in Expeller Soybean Meal (Penn State)
Expeller soybean meal is commonly fed to dairy cows and has a great reputation as a consistent high quality rumen bypass protein. The research will characterize rumen bypass of fatty acids in conventional and high oleic soybeans. Determining these values will increase the value of expeller soybean meal as they will be fed to deliver specific fatty acids to the small intestine where they can be absorbed by the cow.
Determining the Effect of Extreme Precipitation on Efficacy & Weed Management (Penn State)
Preemergent residual herbicides are vital to control weeds that have evolved resistance to commonly used postemergent herbicides. However, the Northeast is experiencing a 71% increase in extreme precipitation events, and this increasingly variable precipitation is likely to decrease the efficacy of soil applied residual herbicides. This research seeks to examine how variable precipitation will impact residual herbicide efficacy, and whether cover crop surface residue can increase or decrease weed control when intense rain or drought events occur.