The following list of research ideas surfaced at Soybean Board meetings and events. This list is not inclusive as to what the Board will fund, but rather a listing of possible topics to be considered by researchers.
It is essential research proposals logically fit into one of the five strategic objectives:
1, Preserve & advance animal agriculture
2. Promote soy-based products and energy alternatives
3. Identify and promote sustainable practices that provide ROI
4. Drive new innovations to increase the value of soy
5. Increase the understanding of soy
- Economic Impact Study of storage needs and opportunities across the Commonwealth and what incentives are there for additional storage capacity to be constructed in northern and western PA.
- Emerging markets in PA and Eastern Region for soy meal and oil in animal rations (such as aquaculture, small ruminants, etc.) and what do the species need nutritionally from soy.
- What technologies (computational power, AI, autonomous equipment, etc.) will be available to Soybean Farmers and will there be a value to adopt these practices?
- Soybean yield and quality/composition enhancement through classical and molecular breeding to increase genetic yield potential (genetic gain) and yield stability via gene discovery and germplasm development, while maintaining or improving soybean quality and composition.
- How could Specialty soybeans; High Value Traits; Tailored genetics and site-specific management impact soybean farmers?
- Basic and applied research directed at variations of soil parameters such as soil type, cover crop, rotation as well as soil fertility in regards to response to micronutrients and P and K; planting and harvesting factors; nodulation; soybean disease, nematode, insect pest and abiotic stress biology, management and yield loss mitigation, including new and emerging threats, as well as crop damage from deer and groundhogs all of consistent or potentially significant economic impact across Pennsylvania and/or the Eastern Region.
- Management of weeds and weed resistance to herbicides for species of common occurrence and threat.
- Soybean production practices, crop management and conservation through on-farm research and similar for increased yields, quality, composition, and profitability in an environmentally sustainable manner. This may include basic and applied research that addresses soybean response to water, nutrients and water quality, climate, soil, and environmental conditions specific to Pennsylvania and/or the Eastern Region.]
- Soybean uses within Animal Agriculture in relation to rations, diets, nutritional components, particle size for digestibility.
- Educational research and nutritional research on animal-based protein and plant-based protein – what might we see in the markets in terms of demand and pricing.
- Alternative uses of soybeans and soybean oil as it relates to biofuel and bioheat and what educational opportunities are needed in the market for the use of such products, such as marketing of soybeans for biofuel and bioheat.
- Enhancement of the understanding of soy, its uses, the benefits of soy and the impact of soy on the region.
- Improve public opinion about agriculture, soybean production, soybean health and soybean use.
- What do soybean farmers need to know about carbon markets, climate resiliency and prescriptive crop management systems?
- Opportunities to increase the value of soy
Remember this is not an exclusive list. If you have an idea for a project which is not listed here but has the potential to benefit Pennsylvania soybean farmers, you are invited to enter a full proposal.