HARRISBURG, Pa. — Research projects designed to provide reliable crop production data to soybean growers and to support Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture industry have been awarded checkoff grants totaling more than $365,000 by the Pennsylvania Soybean Board.
At its February meeting, the all-farmer board, which administers the national soybean checkoff program in the Commonwealth, approved a number of research projects focusing on crop management practices. Additionally, the board approved grant requests for 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 research projects:
Evaluating Deer Damage on Pa. Soybean Varieties (Delaware Valley University) — The project will evaluate ways to mitigate deer damage in Pennsylvania soybean fields. Thirty varieties will be evaluated to help guide growers with deer pressure to plant potentially less susceptible varieties.
Sentinel Plot Program (Penn State) — The sentinel plot program will be run in collaboration with Penn State Extension to provide soybean growers with statewide assessment of insects and diseases active in soybean fields. Soybean fields throughout the state will be scouted weekly for insect pest and disease population.
Best Management Practices for Slugs (Penn State) — Research will investigate best management practices for slugs. In field crops, slugs are particularly problematic in no-till or reduced-till fields with heavy residue and little soil disturbance.
Soybean Yield-Limiting Factors (Penn State) — The Penn State Research Experiment Farms and Pennsylvania growers participating in the On-Farm Network will test a variety of products and management practices. Included will be research into the factors that drive soybean yield differences across different production zones in Pennsylvania. Consideration of the microbiome, nematodes and soil health and fertility will be included in the study.
Education for Western & Northern Region Pa. Soybean Growers (Penn State) — While much research and education has been conducted in Southeastern and Central Pennsylvania, soybean producers in other areas of Pennsylvania need information to better understand the best management practices for their production zone. Extension educators will conduct soybean workshops and field days in Western and Northern regions to help growers maximize soybean production and yield.
Soybean Variety Trials (Penn State) — Soybean early and late-maturity variety trials will be conducted at three locations in Pennsylvania. More than 100 commercial varieties and experimental cultivars will be evaluated.
Using Precision Ag Data to Refine Soil Fertility Management (Penn State) — The project will allow growers and agronomists to synthesize information contained in multiple datasets to identify differences in soil fertility levels across a field. By identifying zones within a field that have low fertility levels, producers can vary the rate of nutrients to achieve higher yields with a more economical use of fertilizer.
Soybean Vein Necrosis (Penn State) — Soybean vein necrosis has been reported in the U.S. since 2008. The disease causes development of shriveled, deformed seeds with reduced germination percentage and decrease in oil percentage, seed weight, protein content and fiber content. This project will investigate the role of host plant resistance in the management of this disease.
Effects of Novel Avian Revirus Variants on Egg Laying Hens (Penn State) — The newly emerging Avian Revirus variants and novel strains have been causing major poultry diseases and economic losses in Pennsylvania. Research will provide essential scientific data for most effective control strategies to prevent ARV infections, and provide recommendations for the most effective “soft” disinfectants for laying hen flocks.
Incidence of Influenza D Viruses in Pa. Cattle (Penn State) — Bovine respiratory disease is the number one disease of dairy and beef cattle. Growing evidence shows that newly discovered influenza D viruses are major players in BRD. The project will aim to isolate and characterize IDV to evaluate the prevalence and genetic diversity of these viruses to reduce losses to the cattle industry.
Enhancing Rumen By-Pass of Extruded Soybean Meal Protein (Penn State) — The research will evaluate the rumen by-pass value of soybean meal extruded at different temperatures. This project builds on previous research that demonstrated increased dry matter intake, and consequently increased milk yield, in dairy cows fed diets in which solvent-extracted soybean meal was substituted with extruded soybean meal.
— Pennsylvania Soybean Board