Project Details:

Strategies for identification and rescue of poorly nodulated soybeans

Parent Project: Strategies for identification and rescue of poorly nodulated soybeans
Checkoff Organization:South Carolina Soybean Board
Categories:Crop management systems
Organization Project Code:
Project Year:2020
Lead Principal Investigator:Nathan Hancock (University of South Carolina)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

Deficient soybean nodulation can cause dramatic yield loss due to nitrogen deficiency. We have been able to develop a model for diagnosing nitrogen deficiency from aerial image analysis. We anticipate that development of this technology will eventually allow soybean farmers to identify and rescue nitrogen deficiency problems. This project seeks to provide information about how much nitrogen needs to be applied to nitrogen deficient soybeans to restore yield. In order to create known levels of nitrogen deficiency, we will be using a soybean mutant that is not able to perform nitrogen fixation. Analyzing the canopy color (image analysis), nutrition levels, and yield of these plants manually will allow us to calibrate our models and determine what fertilization rates make economic sense for farmers with poor nodulation conditions.

Project Objectives

1. Grow nodulation deficient soybeans with different nitrogen fertilization treatments
2. Collect aerial color analysis, tissue analysis, and yield data.
3. Develop a model describing leaf color and nitrogen deficiency
4. Determine what level of rescue fertilization rescues yield

Project Deliverables

- Refine our statistical model of the correlation between canopy color, nitrogen levels, and soybean yield.
- Recommendation of fertilization rates to mitigate yield loss of nitrogen deficient soybean plants (R1).

Progress of Work

Updated April 29, 2020:

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Updated July 31, 2020:

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Updated October 28, 2020:

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Final Project Results

Updated January 6, 2021:

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Benefit to Soybean Farmers

This proposal is an investment in a technology that will potentially provide valuable field analysis tools to soybean farmers and breeders. The value for SC soybean farmers will eventually come in the form of software that can be used to convert aerial images to customized fertilization plans. Development of diagnostic tools from image analysis, coupled with the rapid advancement and availability of aerial imagery will likely be an important scouting tool for SC growers in the near future. Specific to nitrogen deficiency, this project will provide a baseline for diagnostics and variable rate nitrogen prescriptions based on aerial imagery or tissue analysis. This could allow farmers to recover yield in the event of poor nodulation, resulting in significant improvement in profitability. In a broader sense, this project will produce a platform that will allow for the diagnostic imagery for a host of agricultural challenges including nutritional deficiencies and disease.

Performance Metrics

Project Years