PA Soybean On Farm Network
Sustainable Production
DiseaseField management Pest
Parent Project:
Lead Principal Investigator:
Paul Esker, Pennsylvania State University
Co-Principal Investigators:
Project Code:
Contributing Organization (Checkoff):
Institution Funded:
Brief Project Summary:
In areas like Pennsylvania, cover crops are commonly drilled in soybean fields after harvest. However, raising either full-season soybeans with longer maturity or double-crop soybeans limits time to plant and establish cover crops before temperatures stop growth. Heidi Reed, an agronomy educator with Penn State Extension, worked with farmers through the Pennsylvania Soybean On-Farm Network, funded by the Pennsylvania Soybean Board, to learn if planting cover crops into standing soybeans would expand the species they could use. Cooperating farmers chose cover crop species or mixes from a group of nine options and planting methods. The goal was to time broadcast seeding as soybean leaves yellowed, just before leaf drop.
Key Beneficiaries:
Unique Keywords:
#agronomy, #cover crops, #insect management, #planting, #scn
Information And Results
Project Summary

Pennsylvania soybean production has increased approximately 30% since 2009 when the Pennsylvania (PA) Soybean On-Farm Network conducted the first set of trials (http://pasoybean.org/checkoff-at-work/research/on-farm-network/). Soybean production value has ranged from just under $200 million to well over $300 million, depending on the year and the price received. The Pennsylvania Soybean On-Farm Network focuses on conducting field trials on Penn State University Research Farms that are then validated on-farm using grower production practices. This two-tiered approach has been very valuable to show that the results obtained using small plot trials correlated with those on-farm, using long strips. Furthermore, current results based on PA production practices also correlate closely with trials conducted in other states across the soybean production region. The soybean on-farm network increased significantly in 2018 and 2019, incorporating several new projects that address questions and comments provided by producers during the summer and winter workshops in 2017. Plans for 2020, while impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, were still successful as the team continued research efforts. Extension efforts were limited to virtual methods. In 2021, we established new research lines built on our knowledge generated in earlier on-farm trials. Recognizing the COVID-19 impacted our educational program again in 2021, we look forward to the 2022 trial year since we are (1) expanding the on-farm network with new project areas in production agronomy and weed science, (2) incorporating the soybean sentinel plot and nematode monitoring programs, and (3) resuming on-farm summer and winter workshops. The combination of research, education, and extension provide for a unique team approach that includes approximately 20 PSU campus-based faculty and extension educators located around the state.

Project Objectives

The 2022 on-farm network aims to study:
1. Best management practices for slugs (a continuing project from 2021).
2. Pre-harvest broadcast and post-harvest drilled cover crops (a continuing project from 2021).
3. Ilevo seed treatment trials and microbiome/soilborne research (a continuing project from 2021)
4. Soybean pest and disease profiles through the soybean sentinel program (integrated into the on-farm network)
5. Nematode populations across Pennsylvania through the nematode monitoring program (integrated into the on-farm network)
6. Production agronomy using multi-location trials (year 1 trial)
7. The quality and economic value of saved seed (year 1 trial)
8. Refining 2-pass herbicide programs to improve stewardship of soybean seed-trait technologies (year 1 trial)
9. Product testing for compounds thought to improve soybean production (Landisville and Rock Springs, PA)
10. How growers adopt and adapt their farm through information gained as part of our educational and outreach program

Project Deliverables

Results will be summarized and reported on the PA Soybean Board website and the National Soybean Checkoff Research Database. We will also write year-end summaries for the PA Soybean Board Research booklet and as part of summary extension articles in Field Crop News. We have proposed summer and winter workshops to present new results from the on-farm network. These results will also be presented at annual crops conferences and crops days and meetings like the Keystone Crop and Soil Conference and professional society meetings. This project strongly emphasizes education and training, whereby graduate students and summer research assistants receive training in soybean research and extension, extension educators trained in on-farm research, and soybean production practices and problems related to pests diseases, and abiotic issues. We will continue to promote research results at regional and national levels to leverage our local efforts to secure additional funding for research and extension. In all cases, we will work closely with the Pennsylvania Soybean Board to promote these results and other PSB programs during all events and will recognize PSB contributions at all field trials, events, and publications.

Progress Of Work

Updated September 7, 2022:

View uploaded report PDF file

Updated December 25, 2022:

View uploaded report Word file

Final Project Results

Benefit To Soybean Farmers

The United Soybean Research Retention policy will display final reports with the project once completed but working files will be purged after three years. And financial information after seven years. All pertinent information is in the final report or if you want more information, please contact the project lead at your state soybean organization or principal investigator listed on the project.