July 15, 2024

ISA ramps up research-support efforts

Abigail Peterson, Illinois Soybean Association director of agronomy, shows cover crop examples during a recent field day near Hoopeston. Peterson also highlighted ISA’s expanded investments in research.

HOOPESTON, Ill. — The Illinois Soybean Association doubled the number of soybean production research projects approved for fiscal year 2024.

“This is research throughout the state that will be with Southern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, University of Illinois, as well as with partners across the state, incorporating retailers into the mix, understanding more into the climate-smart opportunities available to farmers, but also keeping a non-biased third-party source of information,” said Abigail Peterson, ISA director of agronomy and certified crop adviser.

Peterson spoke of ISA’s expanded research efforts and other topics during a recent ISA Field Talk at the David Olson farm.

The field day focused on a first-year study assessing the cost and return on investment when implementing a legume cover crop to produce nitrogen after wheat harvest.

“With your checkoff doubling research, it’s quite amazing what we can accomplish with the partners we have,” Peterson said.

Among the overall goals of the checkoff-supported efforts is to support research that is meaningful to farmers.

“It’s your checkoff,” she said.

Newly approved research projects in their related areas as follows:

Conservation Practices

• Controlled-releases nitrogen and phosphorous and potassium fertilizer management in strip-till 30-inch and no-till 15-inch rows for high yield soybeans.

• Integrated management strategies for maximizing soybean production in conservation tillage systems.

• Quantifying conservation benefits for Illinois soybean farmers: extrapolating on-farm trial measurements to commercial farm fields through validated algorithms and methods.

In-Season Agronomy

• An economic evaluation of the impacts of site-specific management for increasing soybean production in southern Illinois.

• Injury potential to very early planted soybeans from various soil residual herbicides and active ingredients.

• Evaluating leaf nutrient tissue testing and relation to soybean grain yield.

• Enhancing the profitability of wheat-soybean double-cropping.

Pest Management

• Documenting the extent of resistance of Group 15 herbicides in Illinois waterhemp populations.

• Assessing insect pest effects on yield and return on investment of pest control inputs.

Ongoing Research

Multiyear research projects previously approved that will continue are as follows:

• Adoptive management for maximizing soybean production following cereal rye termination.

• Understanding the importance of cover crop planting date in Illinois row crop production.

• Evaluation and commercialization of SOYLEIC varieties in Illinois.

• U of I crop science variety trials — protein, oil, soybean cyst nematode resistance.

• Assessing the impact of cover crops on SCN populations in field conditions.

• Soybean stem pests: survey, impact and education.

“The checkoff also provide resources like Midwest Cover Crop Guide. It’s a great way to understand more of the species that were discussed today or that you can see walking in the field,” Peterson said.

“In looking at what the association can do for research, it’s not all about keeping it to soil health, soil health conservation all of the time. We really are talking about practical agronomic research that makes sense for you.”

Tom Doran

Tom C. Doran

Field Editor