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Deliver best management practices to South Dakota soybean farmers that improve the yield and profitability of soybean production.

Achieving 100 bushel/acre soybean yields: On-farm research and sharing high yield protocols with South Dakota soybean producers. Increasing yields in a highly variable environment requires the development of adaptable systems that link 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. PI: D. Clay

Continued monitoring, grower education and alternative hosts determination for effective management of the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines. The project will 1) create awareness and offer continued sponsored SCN testing service to South Dakota producers; 2) demonstrate the efficacy of nematicide seed treatments; and, 3) determine weeds that are alternative hosts for SCN in South Dakota. PI: E. Byamukama

Provide new knowledge and technologies for South Dakota soybean farmers and the soybean industry. Collaborative multi-state research will be conducted to solve current and emerging soybean production problems.

The South Dakota Center for Excellence in Soybean Research (Center) is dedicated to innovative research that improves the productivity and profitability of soybean production. The Center and the associated research are sponsored in part by South Dakota Farmers through the soybean checkoff. Thank you to the following partners for their dedication to improving soybean productivity and profitability: South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, North Central Soybean Research Program, and the United Soybean Board. Additional support for soybean research activities is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

In 1919 William Morse co-founded the American Soybean Association and became its first president. At the time farmers used only 20 proven varieties of soybeans. Morse recognized that there was much potential to be discovered in the soybean plant. In 1929, Morse spent two years gathering soybeans in China. He brought back more than 10,000 soybean varieties for agricultural scientists to study. Morse understood that new, improved varieties meant better production for farmers.

Soybeans originated in Southeast Asia and were first domesticated by Chinese farmers around 1100 BC. By the first century AD, soybeans were grown in Japan and many other countries.

It wasn’t until the 1940’s that soybean farming really took off in America. Soybean production in China, the major supplier at that time, was halted by World War II and internal revolution. When the United States entered the war, the steep increase in demand for oils, lubricants, plastics and other products greatly increased the demand for soybeans. United States farmers produced the needed soybeans.

In 1904, the famous American chemist, George Washington Carver (pictured left) discovered that soybeans are a valuable source of protein and oil. He also realized the benefits of soybeans for preserving good quality soil. Mr. Carver encouraged cotton farmers to “rotate” their crops in a three-year plan so that peanuts, soybeans, sweet potatoes or other plants would replenish the soil with nitrogen and minerals for two seasons, and then the third year farmers planted cotton. To the surprise of many farmers, this produced a far better cotton crop than they had seen for many years!

Soybean seed from China was planted by a colonist in the British colony of Georgia in 1765. Benjamin Franklin sent some soybean seeds to a friend to plant in his garden in 1770. Soy sauce had been popular in Europe and the British colonies in America before soybean seeds arrived. It wasn’t until 1851 that soybean seeds were distributed to farmers in Illinois and the corn belt states. This seed was a gift from a crew member rescued from a Japanese fishing boat in the Pacific Ocean in 1850. In the 1870s soybeans increased in popularity with farmers who began to plant them as forage for their livestock. The plants flourished in the hot, humid summer weather characteristic of North Carolina. By the turn of the century, the United States Department of Agriculture was conducting tests on soybeans and encouraging farmers to plant them as animal feed.

Henry Ford is known for producing automobiles but did you know that he once made a car with plastic bodywork made from soybeans? Ford owned a large research facility. He came to the lab one day with a bag of soybeans. He dumped them out on the floor and told the scientists, “You guys are supposed to be smart. You ought to be able to do something with them.” In time, the scientists in Ford’s lab made a strong enough plastic for the gearshift knobs, horn buttons, window frames, accelerator pedals, light-switch assemblies and ignition-coil casings. They also fashioned the exterior of an automobile from “soybean plastic.” By 1935 Ford was using one bushel of soybeans for every car he manufactured.

Following the Second World War, the United States experienced a period of increasing prosperity. Demand for meat consumption increased as people’s diets improved. Livestock producers found that soybean meal was the preferred source of protein at an affordable cost. Chickens, turkeys, cattle and hogs were fed diets containing tens of millions of tons of soybean meal each year. This increase in the use of soybean meal for livestock feed began in the 1950’s and soybean meal has been the preferred choice ever since.

One of the most concerning things about metabolic resistance is that other herbicide modes of action that may not have been used in that field may not be effective because an enzyme in the weed can break apart several different modes of action. This potentially may even affect new modes of action that come along.

Some herbicides are relatively quick to develop resistance because the enzymes they work on are pretty diverse. The Group 2 ALS herbicides develop resistance pretty quickly. Group 9 glyphosate is thought to have a pretty robust resistance mechanism. The enzyme in the weed that glyphosate works on doesn’t have a lot of variability, so it is a numbers game. Because glyphosate became so popular after glyphosate-tolerant crops, and glyphosate was sprayed so many times, that heavy selection pressure resulted in resistance.

In Europe, resistance is a concern in grass species. Black grass in the northern part of Europe, and rye grass across Europe are areas of concern. Those grasses, like the rye grass in Australia, tend to be multiple resistant. In some areas of the U.K. they’re pretty much out of herbicide options to control black grass.

Finally, diversification of weed control practices is critical. Use multiple modes of action. Those modes of action should be overlapping. Use different cropping systems and different cultural practices such as injecting some tillage or maybe some delayed seeding. In Australia, they’ve had some success with harvest weed seed control.

August 31, 2018 By Mark Peterson