Delaware Farmers Approve $50,200 in Soy Research

Projects address crop production, protection needs

(DOVER, DELAWARE) – April 24, 2017 – Delaware soybean farmers serving on the Delaware Soybean Board funded six research projects totaling $50,200 on topics ranging from no-till weed management to delivering nutrients via irrigation, a process known as “fertigation.”

Funding was provided by the soybean checkoff program. The checkoff, which was authorized by Congress in 1990, assesses one-half of one percent of the net market value of soybeans at their first point of sale for research, marketing and education projects.

Projects that were funded included:

Effect of Fertigation on Irrigated Season Soybeans to Various Soil Moisture Levels, led by Cory Whaley, James Adkins and Phillip Sylvester all of the University of Delaware.

Traditionally, soybeans have been grown without nitrogen (N) fertilization due to the plant’s inherent ability to fix N in root nodules and to obtain sufficient residual and mineralized N from the soil to meet crop needs. However, in a high yield scenario, particularly under irrigation where water is not a limiting factor, soybeans may not have the ability to fix enough N or obtain enough N from the soil to maximize yields. In addition, some of the sandy and low organic matter soils found in Delaware may not be able to supply sufficient sulfur (S) in a high yield scenario. Due to the limited studies conducted locally, there is no research available evaluating the response of irrigated soybean to S on Delmarva. There have been recent positive yield results from growers reporting on the responses of N+S through a center pivot irrigation system. With $8,963, the aim of this project is to evaluate the effects of nitrogen and sulfur applied through irrigation on full season soybean yields and to determine the economics of applying nitrogen and sulfur on irrigated soybeans during reproductive stages.

Evaluating the Response of Full Season Soybeans to Various Soil Moisture Levels, proposed by Cory Whaley, James Adkins and Philip Sylvester, all of the University of Delaware.

Nationally, irrigation research is dominated by the needs of the semi-arid southwest United States. The small amount of irrigation research performed in the Mid-Atlantic has focused on corn and vegetables. With more than 30 percent of Delaware’s tillable land under irrigation and the importance of soybeans as a rotational crop, the trio of researchers is seeking improved irrigation management strategies to maximize soybean yields and profitability, with $9,496 in checkoff funds.

Increasing Yield and Profitability in Double-Crop Soybean, proposed by Cory Whaley and Philip Sylvester

More than half of soybeans in Delaware are double-cropped after wheat in a rotation that contributes greatly to the overall profitability of agriculture in the region. Double-cropping also helps farmers meet environmental goals and regulations by representing a “harvestable cover crop.” However, double crop soybeans tend to yield 10 to 30 percent less than full-season soybeans due to the late planting.

With $10,513 in checkoff funding, the group will investigate research practices on earlier small-grain harvest without adverse effects on yield and aim for models that predict the best planting date and maturity group.

Can Plant Population Play a Role in Reducing Lodging Losses in Soybeans from Dectes Stem Borer? William Cissel, Philip Sylvester and Corey Whaley, University of Delaware.  

Recent losses from Dectes Stem Borer (DSB) lodging have increased in both Delaware and in some neighboring counties on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Research and demonstration plots found insecticide applications can reduce adult DSB populations and percent of infested stems. However, there were no differences between lodging loss and yield in the research plots or on cooperating farms.

With $2,409 in funding, the group will evaluate the role plant populations can play in reducing losses from Dectes stem Borer.

Weed Management for No-Till and Double Cropped Soybeans by Mark VanGessel of the University of Delaware.

Some weed species have been challenging to control in soybean production. As production practices change, new weed species such as Palmer amaranth can emerge and become problematic for management. The challenge for a successful weed management program is the diversity of species, timing of weed management, and production system-related issues. With $13,412 in checkoff support, VanGessel will compare residual herbicide combinations for morningglory and Palmer amaranth control along with evaluating the management of cereal rye cover crop for Palmer amaranth control.

Assesing the Impacts of Row Spacing and Fungicide Timing on Disease Control Profitability in Double Crop Soybean Production Systems, led by Nathan Kleczewski of the University of Delaware.