Soybean checkoff board awards research grants


HARRISBURG, Pa. — Four soybean research projects designed to provide reliable data to soybean growers and livestock producers who use soymeal have been awarded checkoff grants totaling $57,572 for the coming crop year by the Pennsylvania Soybean Promotion Board.

The all-farmer board, which administers the national soybean checkoff program in the commonwealth, took the action in a day-long meeting with researchers in Harrisburg in mid-March.


Funding was approved for the following projects:

$7,000 to Penn State’s Greg Roth and colleagues to manage the annual soybean variety trials at Penn State research farms in Lancaster and Centre counties.

This will be the 20th consecutive year for the trials, which are designed to evaluate soybean varieties for their performance under Pennsylvania environmental conditions.

Most of the soybean varieties available to Pennsylvania growers are developed in other regions of the U.S., so this testing is aimed at providing growers with state-specific performance data.

$37,003 to Del Voight, Lebanon County agricultural agent and Extension grain crop specialist, to continue development of the on-farm soybean research network, initiated in 2009.


In the coming year, the seven participating farms will evaluate the potential for foliar fungicide treatments under high-yield field conditions, and the impact disease levels and other field-specific factors have on results.

The research will also evaluate the value of seed treatment in low pH fields as well as the potential of starter fertilizer in Pennsylvania soybean production.

Voight noted that the results of last year’s on-farm soybean network research were shared with more than 4,000 growers in Extension and grower meetings held throughout the state.

$11, 069 to John Tooker, Penn State entomologist, to continue his research into development of a biologically based management strategy for slugs in no-till soybeans.


Slugs have become a major problem in no-till beans and, as Tooker points out, the industry lacks both basic research on slug biology and effective chemical control.

Tooker’s research aims to determine the feeding preferences of slugs among soybeans, various cover crops and weedy plant species and identify the natural enemies of slugs which might be in Pennsylvania soybean fields.

$2,500 was awarded to Daniel Kneffen from Penn State’s Department of Animal Science to research the effects different processing temperatures have during mechanical soybean meal extrusion.


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