EAST LANSING, Mich. — The 2018 SMaRT (Soybean Management and Research Technology) On-farm Research Report will be mailed to 11,000 Michigan soybean producers in early January. It is also available online at the Michigan State University Extension Soybean Resources page and the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee website. The online version is the best way for agribusiness managers, sales representatives and agronomists to access the report, as it will be mailed to only Michigan soybean producers.
The report summarizes the results from 11 different soybean projects evaluating products and management practices having the potential to increase soybean yields and income. Many of the projects were conducted at multiple sites in 2018 and some were conducted over multiple years. Forty-eight soybean producers conducted 51 individual on-farm trials in 2018. The trials fall within four categories: 1) soil fertility, 2) pest management, 3) seed treatments and 4) planting rates.
All treatments were replicated four times in nearly all the trials to reduce the effect of field variability on the results. Proven statistical methods were used to determine if the treatments had a statistically significant effect on soybean yields. Finally, the effect that the treatments had on income was determined for each project.
One of the comments I’ve heard most often about past SMaRT research reports is there is little or no difference in the yields produced by the treatments and the untreated control in some of the trials (no magic bullet was found). This is the case for some of the products evaluated in 2018. However, this is still valuable information as there are two ways to increase income – increasing yields and reducing costs. If the new treatment does not perform significantly better than the untreated control when evaluated across multiple locations and over several years, producers may be able to save money and increase income by not using the product or management practice.
The research report was a team effort. However, please contact me at 269-673-0370 ext. 2562 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments regarding the report.
This article was produced by the SMaRT project (Soybean Management and Research Technology). The SMaRT project was developed to help Michigan producers increase soybean yields and farm profitability. SMaRT is a partnership between MSU Extension and the Michigan Soybean Checkoff program.
— Michael Staton, Michigan State University Extension
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