Soybean research network in ninth year

by | May 11, 2018

HARRISBURG, Pa. — As soybean producers plant their 2018 crop, a group of growers are also participating in research projects through the On-Farm Network.
The On-Farm Network takes soybean research studies out of the lab and small test plots into the fields of Pennsylvania soybean growers.
Now in its ninth year, the network is a program funded by checkoff dollars through the Pennsylvania Soybean Board and administered by researchers and Extension educators at Penn State.
This year, On-Farm Network research will focus on monitoring slugs and determining the yield-limiting factors that impact soybean production.
“We are interested in establishing sampling areas in the field to look at what factors influence yield at the local, regional and state level,” says Penn State Plant Pathologist Dr. Paul Esker, who along with Senior Extension Educator Del Voight, heads the On-Farm Network. “We will trap for slugs and use soil and plant sampling to improve knowledge of soil biology, nematodes, and fertility in relation to pests and diseases that impact Pennsylvania soybean production.”
With the number of soybean acres increasing in the northern and western parts of Pennsylvania, the On-Farm Network will also conduct research specific to the growing environment of those areas.
Research will be done on the use and need for fungicide seed treatments, and best management practices for plant populations and soybean variety selections.
The Network works by conducting research in real-world conditions on test plots planted by farmer/collaborators throughout Pennsylvania on their own farms with their own equipment.
For the results of past studies from the  On-Farm Network, go the Pennsylvania Soybean Board website at www.pasoybean.org.
During the growing season, updates will be available on the Penn State Extension Field Crop News website, https://extension.psu.edu/forage-and-food-crops.

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