Delaware Soybean Board Funds Record Amount In Research

(Georgetown, Delaware) – As spring’s milder temperatures give way to summer heat and humidity, most of us tend to do two things: Retreat into air conditioning, or make plans to hit the beach.

For farmers and farm researchers, though, summer is the arena in which they compete against all the years that have come before to test what they know by tweaking the myriad variables involved in crop production. On every farm, there may be different types of soil, differing soil pHs, low areas that hold water, and high areas that drain quickly and become droughty. Some fields have hidden hazards like soybean cyst nematode, a small worm that wrecks havock on yields. Some have difficult weeds that compete with the crop for moisture, nutrients and sunlight.

“Putting together all of the pieces of the puzzle to create the most ideal growing environment possible is a challenge I look forward to every year,” says Jay Baxter, chairman of the Delaware Soybean Board and a farmer in Georgetown, Del. “Through the soybean checkoff research program, I have access to information about how to grow soybeans in Delaware based on Delaware research.”

Baxter and nine other farmer leaders make up the Delaware Soybean Board, which administers the soybean checkoff program in the state. Through the soybean checkoff, farmers contribute one-half of one percent of the net market value of soybeans at the first point of sale to support research, marketing and education projects. This year, the board funded $84,293.66 in research at the University of Delaware – a record amount for the board.
Among the projects funded are a statewide insect pest survey to monitor pest populations and alert farmers when infestations reach economically damaging levels that may require treatment. The project will scout fields for emerging and re-emerging pest issues such as kudzu bug, stink bugs, dectes stem borer and thrips. Its primary investigators are working with the leader of another project, to evaluate Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus, because the virus is often transmitted by thrips.

Two different studies will examine rates and timing of irrigation and “fertigation” – the practice of delivering precise levels of nutrients to crops through the irrigation system.
Also on tap: methods of managing Palmer Amaranth, an aggressive and prolific weed that can grow as tall as six feet; a variety trial to determine the highest-yielding soybean varieties; and a study to confirm the sources of phosphorus in the Chesapeake Bay.For more information about the Delaware Soybean Board and its research program, visit