TOPEKA, Kan. — Research into building next-generation batteries enabled by soybean hulls, breeding climate resilient soybean traits and battling the invasion of yield robbers is made possible by the checkoff dollars of Kansas soybean farmers. The farmer-led board of the Kansas Soybean Commission meets every December to determine how to best put checkoff dollars to work on research and industry growth.
To prepare for the vital December meeting, KSC opens the request for proposal process and invites principal investigators and industry organizations to submit projects for funding. Commissioners determined in September which industry priorities projects should align with, and the scope of possibilities is broad.
“The guidance on the priorities for researchers is going to be similar to what it has been in the past with the addition of water and how to deal with extreme weather and climate issues,” Ed Anderson, KSC Research Consultant, says.
Commissioners identified water as a key concern among soybean growers. Anderson says projects on water may encompass its management, use efficiency or inclusion in breeding programs through heat, drought or flood tolerance. Other production research priorities include developing best management practices for an array of growing conditions and studying the best tools to protect crops from diseases and insects.
“The new use projects are always going to be of interest,” Anderson adds. “Any project that is going to drive new market opportunities and expand the soybean market is valuable. There is always research there – Kansas has invested in pet food nutrition, enhanced livestock feed rations and renewable fuels.”
Projects aligned with the value-added and market development priorities may study soybean meal and protein utilization, human nutrition and soy food perception or alternative uses of soybean components, or promote agricultural knowledge.
“I believe the future is very bright for continued research in the production and supply space, as well as connecting the market demand opportunities with that supply,” Anderson shares.
The current request for proposals seeks projects for the 2025 fiscal year, which runs July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025. Following the October 18 proposal deadline, Commissioners select project leads to present at the December 14-16 meeting in Topeka.
For more information about the RFP, Commission activities or checkoff value, contact KSC Administrator Kaleb Little by calling the office at 785-271-1030. Interested individuals may also visit www.kansassoybeans.org for additional information.
— Kansas Soybean Commission