JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s soybean farmers are investing in their future, funding nearly $2.5 million in soybean research, development and education projects this year. Projects selected for funding address challenges directly affecting Missouri’s soybean farmers, soybean markets and future opportunities.
“Research is a cornerstone of our pursuit of innovative solutions to the challenges we face as farmers,” said Kyle Durham, a farmer and chairman of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council board of directors. “Farmers’ support of this work remains focused on addressing barriers and strengthening our state’s soybean farmers to weather any storms on the horizon. Collaboration and partnerships are vital to maximizing the effectiveness of our research dollars, and it’s exciting to see the work slated for the year.”
The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council funded 31 projects, ranging in value from $16,375 to $460,000. Projects selected for funding include Missouri’s northern and southern soybean breeding programs, as well as work on soy-based golf balls, disease resistance and herbicide tolerance, and soil health. Biodiesel-focused education projects with the Rockwood Summit School District and Three Rivers College were also selected for funding. Click here for the list of funded projects.
Funding decisions are made by the 13-member Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council board of directors, following review by staff and outside consultants. The work is funded through the soy checkoff program, in which farmers contribute one-half of one percent of the sale price of their soybeans to research, promotion and education. Each project is evaluated individually and by a committee of farmers elected by their peers to serve on the statewide soy checkoff board.
The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council solicits proposals each fall, and project evaluations for new and ongoing projects are completed during the winter and spring. Funding for selected projects generally begins July 1, with progress and results shared each spring in the Annual Research Report.
The application process is aligned with the Merchandising Council’s strategic plan, prioritizing work in soybean research and growing demand for soy, as well as education and outreach projects. Research projects include soybean breeding, solving specific problems within soybean production and multi-state partnerships. Funding for work to grow soy demand is focused on increasing soybean use, primarily through advances in livestock feeding, food production and new uses for soy. Outreach and education projects demonstrate solutions to on-farm challenges and support future generations’ work with soy.
Previous years’ funded projects have made possible key advances, including commercialization of SOYLEIC™ non-gmo high oleic trait technology, developing soybean varieties tailored to regional growing conditions, including flooding and drought tolerance, and growing market opportunities around soy-based biodiesel. Projects have also directly supported training and education opportunities around cover crops, soil health, herbicide resistant weeds and other on-farm challenges.
— Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council
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