Amplifying ISA investment through National Collaborative Research
Sustainable Production
DiseaseField management Pest
Lead Principal Investigator:
Mark Licht, Iowa State University
Co-Principal Investigators:
Fernando Marcos, Iowa State University
Project Code:
Contributing Organization (Checkoff):
Leveraged Funding (Non-Checkoff):
This contracted project is leveraging a USB contracted project to facilitate collaborative efforts of Extension soybean specialists across the U.S.
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Institution Funded:
Brief Project Summary:
The U.S. Soybean Extension Specialist working group has been intentional about identifying best management practice focuses that will have national Extension impact. This project allows Iowa State University to participate fully in the collaborative, multi-state research conducted by this group. Local research on topics like soybean N-fixation, biological seed treatments and more is integral to providing soybean farmers with the tools and information they need to continue increasing their quality and efficiency, ultimately allowing us to develop and deliver best management practices on a national scale.
Key Beneficiaries:
#agronomists, #Extension agents, #farmers
Unique Keywords:
#agronomy, #collaboration, #soybean research
Information And Results
Project Summary

The U.S. Soybean Extension Specialist working group has been intentional about identifying best management practice focuses that will have national Extension impact. In 2020 and 2021, the two collaborative research projects resulted in >10 states participating across the United States for a total of >40 site-years captured over two years. That research will was summarized and is available in a variety of formats including traditional Extension publications, videos, and webinars that are available on the SRIN website in addition to our local Extension channels. Each year, the group collectively identifies two topics to focus research. The two topic areas of focus for this project in the upcoming years were identified as soybean N-fixation (2021 and 2022; previously funded by Iowa Soybean Association) and biological seed treatments (2022 and 2023; focus for this proposal). In late 2022 or early 2023, a second research focus will be determined for the 2023 growing season.

Project Objectives

1. Generate robust soybean best management recommendations through national collaborative research
2. Distribute high-quality information to soybean producers locally and across the U.S. on emerging best management practices

Project Deliverables

It is planned to participate in the collaborative USB project and conduct one or two trials as decided upon by the collaboration. The trial(s) will be conducted at the Ag Engineering and Agronomy Research Farm near Boone, IA.

Progress Of Work

One field project is planned for a second year looking at soybean biological seed treatments. Last year this trial was conducted in 17 states with ~50 overall trials. In 2023, there will be one trial location in Iowa and over 20 states and over 55 trials. The trials look at the same 9 biological products across all states with 7 being repeated from the 2022 trial products.

Additionally, we are participating in a sustainable soybean project being led by Shawn Conley and Matt Ruark from University of Wisconsin. The ISA project funding will allow Iowa State University to collect soil samples and soybean grain yield data to feed into this national funding. We will collect samples from 3 long-term tillage sites under the soybean phase of a corn-soybean rotation (location tentatively being planned for sample collection are Sutherland, Ames, and Crawfordsville).

Final Project Results

The soybean biological seed treatment trial was established on 25 May 2023. Unfortunately, it was sprayed with a 2,4-D to control weeds in late-June and it was not an Enlist soybean variety. The trial was complete terminated by the 2,4-D. Fortunately, we had already collected soil samples that were send to Michigan State University for detection of microbial communities. This was part of a larger 2-year project across soybean growing states throughout the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern regions. Results from the soil microbial community and other states from 2023 are not yet available.
We did collect soil health samples from Sutherland, Ames, and Crawfordsville long-term tillage trials under the soybean phase. Each participating state used locally secured funding for collecting soil samples and aggregating background and yield data. Samples were send to Univ. of Wisconsin – Madison where Shawn Conley’s group submitted for soil health analysis. Yield information is currently being submitted before summarization and statistical analysis is completed.

From year 1 (2022) biological soybean seed treatments were generally not effective. There were 4 out of 50 location where a soybean biological seed treatment was significantly different than the no biological seed treatment control (1 in SD and 3 in WI). However, there was not a single biological seed treatment that resulted in consistent positive or negative response.

Benefit To Soybean Farmers

The economic impact and significance of the outcomes derived from this study will lead to an increased ability for farmers and industry advisors to make better in-season decisions for soybean management. Furthermore, agronomists would be able to learn which soybean growing environments respond to individual management practices to be able to better advise farmers on new or evolving management practices. Overall, this study will lead to continued collaboration between soybean extension specialists from across the U.S., leading to developed of best management practices for resilient productivity and increased profitability in an ever-competitive global market.

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.