Project Details:

In support of the Iowa Soybean Research Center

Parent Project: This is the first year of this project.
Checkoff Organization:Iowa Soybean Association
Categories:Research coordination
Organization Project Code:450-46-06
Project Year:2016
Lead Principal Investigator:Gregory Tylka (Iowa State University)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

Iowa is the nation’s leading producer of soybeans. And as such, Iowa is home to many organizations and companies that strive to improve the plant health, yields and profitability of soybean production for farmers, including Iowa State University, the Iowa Soybean Association, numerous multinational and Iowa-based seed, chemical and technology companies, and local farm cooperatives, grain elevators and others who provide crop inputs and services to farmers. However, no mechanism exists to foster collaboration and exchange of information among the various entities conducting research and education activities to serve Iowa’s soybean farmers.

The Iowa Soybean Research Center was established in 2014 to bring together scientists and educators from public and private entities to discuss research and education needs, share research and education experiences, ideas and technologies, and offer opportunities to sponsor efforts, either exclusively or jointly with others, to advance the science and business of growing soybeans in Iowa.

Project Objectives

The intellectual focus of the Iowa Soybean Research Center is all university activities related to soybean biology, breeding, economics, precision agriculture, production and pest management in the state. The ultimate, long-term goal of the center is to advance understanding of soybean plant biology and to increase soybean production and make production more profitable and environmentally sustainable in the future. Specific goals of the center are:
• To forge strong public-private partnerships.
• To sustain communication and collaboration with soybean farmers and the agricultural industry about needs for soybean research and education activities by ISU and the Iowa Soybean Association, and to increase the coordination of those activities among the industry, the Iowa Soybean Association and ISU.
• To increase training of undergraduate and graduate students and other personnel for soybean-related research, education and production activities.
• To increase public and private funding of soybean-related research and education activities.
• To deliver research-based information to benefit the Iowa soybean industry.
• To increase communication with farmers and industry about soybean-related research and education activities at ISU and the Iowa Soybean Association.
• To increase active engagement of farmers and align others in the soybean value chain so that dividends from investments in leadership, research and education integration are accelerated.

Project Deliverables

There will be numerous deliverables and outcomes from the Iowa Soybean Research Center, including:
• increased coordination of soybean research and education activities with that of the Iowa Soybean Association staff and agribusiness personnel in Iowa
• increased exchange of ideas and information and participation in crop conferences and educational meetings held by Iowa State University and the Iowa Soybean Association
• increased cooperative research conducted by ISU scientists and the ISA On-Farm Network and the ISA Environmental Programs and Services scientists
• leveraged funding of soybean production research and education activities by the soybean checkoff and the soybean industry

Economic Impact/Significance
There is no other center or institute at any other college and university in Iowa that focuses on the production and protection of soybeans. The Iowa Soybean Research Center will be the sole university entity in the state focused on soybean research and education. And in the future, there likely will be only a few “hubs” of soybean research in the nation. This Iowa Soybean Research Center, in cooperation with the Iowa Soybean Association, will position ISU to be the regional and national leader of soybean research, capable of garnering large grants from the national United Soybean Board, the North Central Soybean Research Program and the national USDA AFRI grants program.

Progress of Work

From 1 October 2015 to 31 March 2016, we have:
• communicated with ISA Board of Director members about center functions and activities
• began planning an educational event in Ames for ISA Board of Director members in September 2016
• held a Think Tank workshop in Ames in March 2016 to identify research needs
• recruited new industry partners through phone and email communications
• added Cornelius Seeds as a funding industry partner for the center
• assisted ISU Agronomy faculty researcher Kan Wang in submission of a USDA NIFA grant proposal
• hired a new program coordinator for the center
• communicated with ISU research and extension field agronomists to organize field research for the 2016 growing season

Final Project Results

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

The Iowa Soybean Research Center brings together soybean scientists and educators from public and private entities to discuss research and education needs to advance the science and business of growing soybeans in Iowa. These coordination activities foster collaborations and synergy among the various entities working on soybeans and will result in research and education activities that possibly would have not occurred without the coordination. It is collaborative work such as this that will benefit the soybean farmers through more efficient and profitable production of higher soybean yields.

Performance Metrics

- Number of industry partners contributing funds to the center: 3 for FY 2016
- Amount of funds contributed to the center from industry partners: $57,000 for FY 2016
- Number of cooperative research projects conducted by ISU and ISA personnel: 13 for 2016
- Number of presenters of research results from ISA at the ISU Integrated Crop Management Conference: 2 for December 2015 event
- Number of presenters from ISU at the ISA Research Conference: 14 for February 2016 event
- Number of attendees from ISU at the ISA Research Conference: 70 for February 2016 event

Project Years