Project Details:

Title:
Achieving 100 Bu/A soybean yields: on-farm research and sharing high yield protocols with South Dakota soybean producers

Parent Project: Achieving 100 bushel/acre soybean yields: Developing, testing, and sharing high yield protocols with South Dakota soybean producers
Checkoff Organization:South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council
Categories:Crop management systems, Communication
Organization Project Code:
Project Year:2021
Lead Principal Investigator:David Clay (South Dakota State University)
Co-Principal Investigators:
Keywords:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

On-farm studies provide information that producers use to reduce the economic risks associated with new products, test the efficiency of components within their current operation, and test innovative new ideas and concepts. In the project, a producer chooses his/her treatments based on their interest or desire prior to implementation. SDSU agronomists assist in experimental design, treatment application, scouting, and analysis. At the completion of the project, reports are distributed to the farmer collaborator and they are posted SD Soybean Research and Promotion on-farm web site. Farmers use results from the study to identify treatments that might be success on their farm and reduce the economic risks associated with new products. To date, over 400 experiments have been conducted by SD farmers.
Producing a profit in a highly variable environment requires the development of adaptable systems that links advances in crop genetics with an improved understanding of ecosystem functioning and soil health. The proposed project builds the infrastructure where locally-led production and management questions are identified and tested. The activities for the upcoming year include:
1) Continue the on-farm research program in 2020;
a. Farmers last year were very interested in using UAV as a scouting tool and approximately 30 experiments were conducted. We anticipate that this interest will continue in 2020. Other studies that most likely will continue are the use of new products, treatment of soybeans with rhizobia at V2 to V4, seeding rates, and fertilizer applications.
b. Other projects that received a lot of interest included fungicide treatment and new product testing,
c. Marketing new products, collect samples from on-farm studies and analyze them oil and protein content.
i. Different products have requirements. We will start testing of soybeans from on-farm studies for new opportunities.
2) Continue research designed to determine the importance of soil health in optimizing soybean yields (partially funded by NRCS and NREC);
3) Continue on-farm research designed to assess the impact increasing salt concentration and drainage on yields (partially funded by USDA-AFRI and NRCS); and
4) Deliver information to producers through Soy100, AgOutlook, SD on-farm web-site, news releases, radio interviews, and SDSU websites.
a. In addition, SDSU seniors are using the on-farm studies for their final project in the Agronomy Capstone class (PS475). The goal of this class is to help students match solutions to problems and create locally based, flexible, high profit roadmaps, which will be validated in research conducted in producer’s fields when appropriate.
Brief description and justification:
Due to SD environmental conditions, the on-farm studies are producing findings that producers need to optimize their production practices. In prior years, on-farm studies evaluated many topics including cover crops, late season N, fungicide seed treatments, seeding rates, soybean growth promoters, micronutrients, techniques to reduce the impact of salts on soybean growth, prevent plant, and the use of UAV’s to identify diseases and yield limiting factors. Findings from of experiments conducted prior to 2020 are available at the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion on-farm website. The project will help SD soybean producers enhance profitability by conducting targeted research, working one-on-one with farmers conducting on-farm research projects, and sharing the research findings with the producer and scientific communities. In addition, in 2020 we will collect soybean samples and analyze them for protein and oil content. This information will provide information on the ability of SD soybean production to meet new markets in fish food production.
A project goal is help individual farmers optimize their management for soybean production. This will be achieved by assisting farmers in on-farm research and by conducting targeted research on focused questions. Several of these topic are discussed below. To produce meaningful results, an agronomist inspects all experiments during the summer. Typically, the agronomist measures plant populations and conducts visual inspection of the experiment. Based on the findings, this information is shared with the producer. At the completion of the growing season, SDSU prepares a yield difference map, statistically analyzes the data, and prepares a report for distribution to the collaborator and the findings are posted on the on-farm web-page.
Creating a searchable on-farm data base
During the 2016-2017 growing season, an on-farm web-page was prepared. Over the last several years, over 300 studies have been loaded. Our team is striving to load these reports into the site as quickly as possible. Using key words or locations, this database can be searched. In addition, to being used for local decisions, this data base is being used to train the next generation of agronomists. In SDSU Capstone class, PS475 students are required to conduct a special problem. This year, we are testing the use of the soybean on-farm studies for these problems. Graduating seniors are working with SDSU staff and the farmers associated with these projects.
Farmers this last year were very interested in using UAV as a scouting tool and approximately 30 experiments were conducted. We anticipate that this interest will continue in 2020. Other studies that most likely will continue are the use of new products, treatment of soybeans with rhizobia at V2 to V4, seeding rates, and fertilizer applications and assessment of soybean quality for new products
Building a data base on soybean and soil health
Over the next year, this project will collaborate with projects partially funded by NRCS and SD-NREC. One such effort is soil health research. The projects funded by NRCS and SD-NREC are focused on corn we will expand this work to soybeans. Over the next year we will work with farmers who want to explore the relationships between soil microbial community structure and soybean yields. For example, planting cover crops in north central South Dakota changes the microbial community structure, which may increase nutrient efficiency. What we do not know is how to intergrate this information into our decision process. This next year, we will continue to build this database. Prior research showed that the soil microbial composition can be altered by management. For example, planting a fall cover crop that contained plants from the mustard family (Brassicacea) increased the relative amount of bacteria in the soil. This change is important because this may lead to faster decomposition and recycling of the nutrients contained within the plant residues. This component will provide information on the bacterial and fungal components of the soil biota, as influenced by the on-farm treatment. By compiling data from across the on-farm study sites the importance of the soil biology on soybean productivity will be determined.
Building a data base on soybean production and salinity
A second project that is partially funded by NRCS. This NRCS project is focused on returning salt effected soils to perennial grassland. This project will expand this discussion to investigate the use of tile drainage to reduce salinity problems. Over the next year we will work with SD farmers who are concerned about the growing salinity problem on their fields. Salinity problems are increasing in the state. This problem is driven by rising water tables, which provides an opportunity for sodium and other salts to be transported to the soil surface. We estimated that EC increased 1 dS m-1 on over 1 million acres from 2008 to 2012. This increase represents over 13% of the cropped land in the state. The greatest impacts of increasing salt concentrations are located in the northern, central, and western regions of the state. The most common approaches for reducing high salt concentrations is to install tile drainage. To conduct an economic analysis on the value of tile drainage as a remediation strategy, this yield reduction or improvement needs to be confirmed. As of October 2017, 16 on-farm experiments have been initiated. This research will be continued in 2020.
Brief description of deliverables and timelines
This project is designed to provide information that farmers can use to reduce their costs and improve their profitability. Farmers volunteer for projects during the winter and implement the projects during the spring and summer. Findings from these studies are determined, shared with the collaborating farmer, and loaded onto the web page that was created in 2016, as quickly as possible. Producers searching the database, use it to improve their efficiency and profitability. In addition, this database is used to train the next generation of agronomists. These future agronomists are trained in the SDSU Capstone class, PS475 where they use the posted experiments to create economic and environmentally sustainable management plans. This year, we will prepare hard copy of reports that will be available at SD Soybeans Research and Promotion headquarters and other farmer events.

Project Objectives

1. Conduct on farm studies. Our goal for the number of on-farm studies in 2020 is 110. (Drs D.E. Clay, S.A. Clay, Bruggeman, Beck, Chang, Shaffer, Reese and Strunk, Bly, Karki, Berg, Beck)
a. We anticipate that the projects will investigate:
i. In-season cover crops,
ii. Late season N and soybean varieties,
iii. Fungicides seed treatments,
iv. In-season fungicide treatments
v. Seeding rates and growth promoters,
vi. Micronutrients,
vii. Tillage and residue management in rotations that include soybeans,
viii. Use of UAV
ix. New products
x. Soybean quality to meet production objectives of new markets
xi. In-season application of rhizobia
xii. Other farmer identified projects.
b. Continue on-farm research designed to determine the importance of soil health in reducing costs and optimizing soybean yields;
i. Where possible, project will investigate why differential responses and the impacts on soil health across landscapes will be investigated.
ii. Healthy soil produces healthy plants, which in turn produce better yields. Management systems create differing levels of soil health. Microbial levels and ratios provide detailed information about the status of the soil health. On-farm experiments provide an excellent opportunity to allow producers to compare treatment effects on soil health. The goal is to increase awareness of soil health and to help farmers determine if there are soil health differences associated with their on-farm experiments. PLFA (PhosphoLipid Fatty Acid) analysis will be performed on samples to determine soil health and reported to participants. Our goal is to make assessments on as many experiments as possible in FY20-21. Data from these projects will be loaded into the new on-farm study site.
c. Continue on-farm research designed to assess the impact increasing salt concentration and drainage on yields; and
i. Conduct side by side comparisons to determine the impact of tile drainage on soybean yields and salt management. Saline areas in South Dakota are growing and they are most often found in lower elevation areas. On soil test reports, the salt risk is reported under the soil electrical conductivity (EC). Preliminary research showed that there is a 12 and 4% relative yield loss for corn and soybeans with each dS/m increase in soil electrical conductivity. To assess the economic viability of tile drainage, these findings need to be confirmed. A recommended approach to reduce yield losses due to salts, is to install tile drainage. However, research conducted between 2013 and 2015 showed that tile drainage can produce mixed impact on soil remediation. Experiments on 16 farms have been established. Farmers are located in Brentford, Barnard, DeSmet, and Warner, Lake Preston, Bath, Wessinton, Stratford, Pierpont, South Shore, and Clark. These on-farm studies are tracking yield and soil health changes resulting from tile drainage.

Project Deliverables

Deliver information to producers through talks, Soy100, AgOutlook, on-farm web-page, university classes, SDSU web-page, radio, and news releases. Distribute information to soybean growers and farmer collaborators by;
a. Populating the on-farm web-site with archived producer information,
b. Delivering on-farm producer reports to the on-farm web-page,
c. Organizing the Soy100 meeting,
d. Using on-farm studies for student senior projects.
e. Summarizing on farm study results
f. Organizing investigator and on-farm advisory board meetings to assess success and identify on-farm priorities

Progress of Work

Updated December 2, 2020:
I. Statement of the project objective(s):
This project is continuing the on-farm research program and delivering findings to South Dakota farmers.
II. Statement of quantifiable progress toward project objective(s) achieved during this reporting period:
During this last quarter, experiments on over 50 farms were conducted, new technologies were tested, and planning for soy100 was conducted
III. Activities planned between now and the next reporting period:
During the next quarter, we will analyze the collected data and continue planning for SOY100
IV. Problems and/or obstacles that may impact the completion date, cost or scope of the project:
Despite of restrictions due to Covid-19 we completed as much as possible

See attached report

View uploaded report Word file

Updated February 26, 2021:
I. Statement of the project objective(s):
1) Continue the on-farm research program in 2020; 2) Continue research designed to determine the importance of soil health in optimizing soybean yields; 3) Continue on-farm research designed to assess the impact increasing salt concentration and drainage on yields; and 4) Deliver information to producers through Soy100, AgOutlook, SD on-farm web-site, news releases, radio interviews, and SDSU websites. In addition, SDSU seniors in are using the on-farm studies for their final project in Agronomy Capstone class (PS475). The students are conducting an economic analysis of the treatments.
II. Statement of quantifiable progress toward project objective(s) achieved during this reporting period:
We conducted over 50 experiments and we are in the process of completing the reports. Currently draft reports have been sent to all farmersl
III. Activities planned between now and the next reporting period:
Complete the reports and hold soy100

View uploaded report Word file

Updated July 30, 2021:
I. Statement of the project objective(s):
In the next year, this project will create data sets that will be used for precision agriculture applications. This last year we used aerial information to better understand yield variability across landscapes. While useful, it did not provide enough information to clearly identify yield limiting factors. This next year, this aerial information will be completed by collecting hyperspectral data from selected on-farm production fields. The hyperspectral scanner will collect information from over 400 bands. We will explore the use of large data analysis techniques to evaluate to ability to use this information to identify the yield limiting factors in these production fields. Funding for the sensor was provided by NSF on a precision farming project. This effort will be combined with efforts to determine the barriers limiting the adoption of precision farming techniques.
II. Statement of quantifiable progress toward project objective(s) achieved during this reporting period:
We completed most of last years goals and we are planning for next year.
III. Activities planned between now and the next reporting period:
Contact farmers for conducting research in 2021
IV. Problems and/or obstacles that may impact the completion date, cost or scope of the project:
none

View uploaded report Word file

Updated July 30, 2021:
I. Statement of the project objective(s):
On-farm studies provide information that producers can use to reduce the risk that their investments will produce a negative return on investment. This project tests new products in collaboration with producers in their field. In the project, a producer chooses his/her treatments based on their interest or their desire to test new products prior to purchase. SDSU agronomists assist in experimental design, treatment application, scouting, and analysis. Project reports are distributed to the farmer collaborator and posted SD Soybean Research and Promotion on-farm web-site. The searchable findings are available to the public. During 2019, even though 35 early season projects were cancelled due to climatic conditions, farmers conducted 54 projects. Routine advisory board meetings will be held in 2020 and 2021. Producing a profit in a highly variable environment requires the development of adaptable systems that links advances in crop genetics with an improved understanding of ecosystem functioning and soil health. The proposed project will build the infrastructure where locally-led production and management questions are identified and tested. The activities for the upcoming year include: 1) Continue the on-farm research program in 2020; 2) Continue research designed to determine the importance of soil health in optimizing soybean yields; 3) Continue on-farm research designed to assess the impact increasing salt concentration and drainage on yields; and 4) Deliver information to producers through Soy100, AgOutlook, SD on-farm web-site, news releases, radio interviews, and SDSU websites. In addition, SDSU seniors in are using the on-farm studies for their final project in Agronomy Capstone class (PS475). The students are conducting an economic analysis of the treatments.
II. Statement of quantifiable progress toward project objective(s) achieved during this reporting period:
During the 2016-2017 growing season, an on-farm web-page was prepared. Over the last several years, over 350 studies have been loaded. Our team is striving to load these reports into the site as quickly as possible. Using key words or locations, this database can be searched. In addition, to being used for local decisions, this data base is being used to train the next generation of agronomists. In SDSU Capstone class, PS475 students are required to conduct a special problem. . This year, we are testing the use of the soybean on-farm studies for these problems. Graduating seniors are working with SDSU staff and the farmers associated with these projects.
III. Activities planned between now and the next reporting period:
Contact farmers for conducting research in 2021
IV. Problems and/or obstacles that may impact the completion date, cost or scope of the project:
Despite of restrictions due to Covid-19 we completed as much as possible

View uploaded report Word file

Final Project Results

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

The project will help SD soybean producers enhance profitability by conducting targeted research, working one-on-one with farmers conducting on-farm research projects, and sharing the research findings with the producer and scientific communities. The continuing on-farm project will continue to build the number of on-farm research projects that farmers can search.

Performance Metrics

Project Years

YearProject Title (each year)
2022Achieving 100 Bu/A soybean yields: on-farm research and sharing high yield protocols with South Dakota soybean producers
2021Achieving 100 Bu/A soybean yields: on-farm research and sharing high yield protocols with South Dakota soybean producers
2020Achieving 100 Bu/A soybean yields: on-farm research and sharing high yield protocols with South Dakota soybean producers FY20
2019Achieving 100 Bu/A soybean yields: on-farm research and sharing high yield protocols with South Dakota soybean producers FY19
2016Achieving 100 bushel/acre soybean yields: Developing, testing, and sharing high yield protocols with South Dakota soybean producers
2015Achieving 100 bushel/acre soybean yields: Developing, testing, and sharing high yield protocols with South Dakota soybean producers