2015 Production Research

On-Farm Investigation and Evaluation of Soybean Production Strategies for 2015 – David Moore, Dr. David Holshouser, and Laura Maxey-Nay requested and was granted$10,000 to assist Virginia’s soybean producers with investigation and troubleshooting of problems in soybeans and the limitations associated with them, and also, to provide research-based local evaluations of control strategies used to improve production efficiency.  Varieties will be tested in various locations to help determine top yielding varieties for each test location and to present an overall comparison.  Management strategies will be developed, implemented, and tested on producer farms and their focus will be to optimize production and maximize economic yields while minimizing negative environmental effects.

Potassium Fertility for Soybean Production in Virginia – Dr. Mark. S. Reiter requested and was granted $17,205 to assist producers with management decisions regarding potassium deficiencies and yield responses as they relate to full season and double crop soybeans in no-tillage systems.  Objectives include determination of appropriate potassium application rates fro common production systems through out the Commonwealth and to disseminate research information for farmers to integrate into their production system.  No-tillage soybeans will be planted across Virginia utilizing full season and double crop systems and in system with and without the straw removed from wheat/barley. The overall project design at each location is and arrangement of 5 potassium rates (0,50,100,150 and 200 lbs/acre).

Educational Program- Dr. Ozzie Abye requested and was granted $5000 to give students a strong background in crop analysis, specifically plant and seed identifications, seed analysis, and commercial grain grading.  To create opportunities for students to learn about agriculture outside of the US.

Validation, Optimization and Deployment of Fungicide advisories for Soybeans – Dr. Hillary Mehl requested and was granted $29,817 to validate and optimize a weather-based disease advisory for foliar fungicide application in soybean and to survey soybean fields for fungicide resistant pathogens.

The Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom– Karen Davis requested and was granted $10,000 to provide Virginia educators with copies of Soybean: A-Z books and to help fund workshops where the books will be distributed to pre-service and elementary teachers who attend AIC workshops.  As a result, it is their goal to reach more than 25,000Virginia students and introduce them to the soybean and its many uses.  Further, these boods will remain a part of classroom libraries for years to come, thus educating future students.

American Soybean Association – SoyStats 2016- A Reference Guide to Important Soybean Facts and Figures- Shannon Ellis requested and was granted $600 to provide this reliable source for immediate and accurate soybean-specific statistics and information.  Designed for use by industry, government, media, state affiliates and soy customers.

American Soybean Association – Soybean Leadership College 2016-5 Scholarships– Shannon Ellis requested and was granted 5 scholarships for young Virginia growers. Soybean Leadership College provides opportunities for future and current soybean industry grower-leaders and state staff to learn how to engage soybean producers, consumers, legislators, government officials and media, to more effectively tell the story of agriculture.

Virginia Soybean Association – Soybean Promotion, Education and market Development in Virginia- John Shepherd and Shannon Ellis requested and was granted $235,276. Funds will be used to promote and educate about Virginia soybeans, soy products and to promote new uses through promotional shows and fairs, classroom education, leader/project meetings. Funding also includes Administration and Operations Center. Projects to include hiring of two interns known as “Soy Agvocates” to promote soybeans throughout Virginia and to increase VSA’s presence at agricultural activities. Biodiesel Promotion, Virginia Grains and Soybean Conference Recognition Opportunities, Children’s Museum Agricultural exhibit are also included in the funding.

Soybean Research Support – Bob Pittman requested and was granted$7,250 to provide technical support for soybean research programs so that time sensitive and important information such as flowering date, disease and lodging scores, height, maturity date, yield and test weight can be collected in a timely manner.  Other tasks may include planting of plots, tissue sampling, hand harvesting, machine harvesting and sample data collection after harvest.  To provide an opportunity for an undergraduate college student to gain first hand agronomic experience working in crop research programs in the coastal plain of Virginia.

Development of Improved Soybean Varieties and Germplasm Adapted to Virginia –Dr. Bo Zhang requested and was granted $39,582  to develop high yielding, herbicide tolerant soybean cultivars and germplasm adapted to Virginia. To also include the development of superior varieties and germplasm with modified oil quality and disease resistance for feed, food, and biodiesel industry. To emphasize development of early maturity groups soybean varieties and germplasm for double-crop soybean planting systems and to educate and train 3-4 graduate students in crop breeding.

Development of Genetically Engineered Soybean Varieties and Germplasm with High Protein Digestibility– Dr. Bo Zhang requested and was granted $45,924  to develop genetically engineered soybean varieties and germplasm with low trypsin inhibitor, low phytate and low indigestible sugar traits to make processed soybean meal a more nutritional animal feed.

Breeding for Drought-Tolerance in the Soybean Super Organism– Dr. Mark Williams requested and was granted $49,072 to develop drought tolerant soybean varieties that are supported by a drought resistant and symbiotic microbial community; and with an eye on the long-term goal of supporting a new breeding paradigm that sustains high yielding, adaptable and resilient soybean super-organisms.

Use of Genomics to Develop Disease Resistant Soybeans. Dr. Saghai Maroof requested and was granted $23,000. The long term goal of the proposed project is to develop disease-resistant and high yielding soybean cultivars adapted to the Virginia and Mid-Atlantic growing conditions. Major objectives of the project are to develop breeder friendly and easy to use DNA markers for genes conferring resistance to soybean virus and Phytophthora root rot diseases. Conduct marker-assisted selection studies aimed at pyramiding or stacking of the genes conferring resistance to soybean virus, Phytophthora root rot, and Pythium disease and identify breeding lines with resistance to multiple soybean diseases.

Improvement of Drought Tolerance in Soybeans Through Molecular and Genomic Approaches. Dr. Takeshi Fukao requested and was granted $22,204 to improve drought tolerance of high -yielding soybean varieties adapted to growth conditions in Virginia. To identify key genes governing drought tolerance through genome-scale gene expression analysis in soybean and comparative analysis of gene expression data in soybeans and other plants. Also to validate the function of the selected soybean genes in transgenic Arabidopsis (a model plant) and utilize the confirmed genes to develop drought- tolerance soybean varieties.

Monitoring and Management of Soybean Insect Pests and New Projects Assessing Beneficial Natural Enemy Population in Soybean Fields,2015- Dr. Ames Herbert requested and was granted $28,523 to conduct a statewide soybean monitoring program for BMSB to confirm edge distribution patterns and confirm field-edge treatments as successful strategy for managing BMSB in fields. To conduct a second year of side-by-side comparison of visual vs. sweep net samples to determine the best method for assessing population density in soybean fields. To conduct a statewide monitoring program for kudzu bug and to provide kudzu bug distribution, threshold and management information to growers. To determine the abundance and distribution of a new kudzu bug parasitoid in Virginia. To monitor pyrethroid resistance in corn earworm using adult vial tests. To determine the seasonal presence, abundance and sequence of beneficial natural enemy arthropod species in Virginia soybean fields. To determine the immediate effects of selective vs. broad spectrum insecticides on population densities of beneficial arthropods, and compare the time needed for populations to rebound. To increase awareness of beneficial arthropods by Virginia soybean producers via Virginia Cooperative Extension publications, field demonstrations and hands-on training programs.

Forward Looking Soybean Weed Management – Dr. Michael Flessner requested and was granted $19,570 to conduct research on yield assessment and comparison following preemergent (PRE), postemergent (POST) and PRE followed by POST herbicide applications. Management of glyphosate resistant horseweed/marestail control following wheat harvest, assess new genetic technologies which will address weed control and nontolerant soybean response to 2,4-D and dicamba.

Implementing Cost-Effective Solutions for More Profitable Soybean Production. Dr. David Holhouser requested and was granted $30,943 to conduct on-farm experiments throughout Virginia to validate a weather-based advisory model for timing of foliar fungicide application on soybean. Continue research to develop a soybean development table for maturity group III through VI varieties in full season and double crop systems. Evaluate seedling emergence and growth, root development, and yield of soybean treated with various soil biologicals over several locations. Quantify the relationship between the normalized difference vegetative index and soybean leaf area index using an active optical sensor.  Critically review, summarize, and/or publish Virginia soybean research in preparation to create a “clearing house” of data that soybean farmers can easily access.

Increasing Yields and Profitability for Mid-Atlantic Double -Crop Soybean-Dr. David Holhouser requested and was granted $20,000 to increase yield and profitability of double -crop small grain-soybean systems in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Specific objective to accomplish this goal are still in development, but the following items were discussed at a meeting of soybean specialist and farmers from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and North Carolina.  As part of this project, we are asking that individual states contribute to the final funding. Develop a “clearing house” of knowledge, research conducted, and extension recommendations on double crop soybean in the Mid-Atlantic. Create a coordinated Mid-Atlantic on -farm structure to discover, validate, and increase the use of practiced that increase efficiency and profitability.  Research practice that lead to earlier small grain harvest without adverse effects on yield, providing for an earlier planting date for double-crop soybean.  Conduct coordinated research projects in one or more stated that investigate specific production practices that may lead to increased yield and profitability.