Pa. Soybean Farmers Support Checkoff-Funded Research Projects
HARRISBURG, Pa. (February 10, 2022) – Research projects designed to increase the profitability and sustainability of Pennsylvania’s soybean growers have been awarded checkoff grants totaling more than $300,000 by the Pennsylvania Soybean Board.
The all-farmer board, which administers the national soybean checkoff program in the Commonwealth, approved research projects focusing on crop management practices and research benefiting animal agriculture, the largest domestic user of soymeal and the largest sector of Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry.
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.
Establishing an Herbicide Resistance Monitoring Program for Pennsylvania Soybean Growers (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.
Funding was approved for the following research project in support of Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture industry:
Genomic Characterization & Evolution Studies on Avian Coronavirus Variants in Pennsylvania Poultry 1990-2020 (Penn State)
Avian coronavirus, commonly called infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) in poultry, is one of the most highly contagious viral pathogens in chickens. It causes severe respiratory disease, kidney failure, decreased growth and deaths in young birds and economic losses in egg production and quality in egg-laying hens. This research project will use advanced genome sequencing to conduct genome characterizations for the more than 1,000 IBV variants that have been isolated in poultry from 1990-2020 to reveal new findings on how the mutations of avian coronaviruses that have occurred in chickens to predict and prevent emerging new variants in the future.
About the Pennsylvania Soybean Board
The Pennsylvania Soybean Board is a farmer-controlled Board responsible for managing Pennsylvania’s share of funds received from the nationwide Soybean Checkoff program. The funding is available under an assessment program, approved by Congress in 1990, under which soybean farmers contribute 50 cents of every $100 they receive for their beans at the first point of sale. Funds are used to develop markets, educate consumers, and research new ways to utilize and produce soybeans more efficiently.