Each year MSR&PC funds and supports groundbreaking research that increases soybean production; promotes soybeans in the U.S. and globally; and develops new and innovative uses for soybeans, with an aim toward bringing value-added products to commercialization.

Checkoff funded research studies

Production Research

Enhancing canopy conductance to increase soybean yields

Walid Sadok / University of Minnesota /

With no growing season the same, the need to learn about alternative stressors within soybean plants is beneficial for further developments. Building off 2 years of mapping populations, researches successfully replicated the phenotyping of both mapping populations that consisted of more than 900 plants, each of which was phenotypes at an unprecedented temporal resolution using the GraPh platform. Using multiple rounds of data analyses to test the stability and robustness of the detected QTL for daytime canopy conductance, for the first time, researchers confirmed that QTL controlling canopy conductance in soybeans was detected which will help enhance the UMN breeding program and enhance yield potential of Minnesota-adopted soybean cultivars.

As a result of the discovery of non-negligible nighttime transpiration in soybeans from previous studies, researchers continued to use the GraPhh platform and successfully phenotype nighttime canopy conductance for two mapping populations on over 900 plants. It was confirmed that the QTL that minimizes nighttime canopy conductance could further enhance the benefits of maximizing daytime canopy conductance and therefore present additional valuable resources to the UMN breeding program. In addition, they developed a protocol for high-throughput phenotyping of whole-plant leaf areas, discovering a previously undetected QTL controlling whole-plant leaf area in soybeans and enables researchers to make sure that canopy conductance are independent from those related areas.

As the project delivered on all initial goals and generated novel findings and genetic markets, these markets will be transferred to the UMN soybean breeding program and will be leveraged to release cultivars that maximize the ability of the plants to capture CO2, water and nutrients, while minimizing seemingly wasteful nighttime water loss.

Download Progress Report

Nitrogen management is not all about the corn crop: Understanding direct and indirect effects of nitrogen on soybeans

Seth Naeve / University of Minneosta /

In its third year of a four-year study, University of Minnesota research documented the impact of poor drainage on some of the most up-to-date management strategies. Drainage blocks were split by tillage (no-tillage, strip-till, and conventional till) in the fall of 2016. Nitrogen and soybean management plots were established in 2017 and this project continued evaluating soil drainage, tillage, and nitrogen management on soybean productivity. In addition, they examined the effects drainage and tillage have on soybean’s response to soybean seed treatments and foliar fungicide applications. 2019 represented the third-year evaluations of nitrogen timing and rate effects on corn under combinations of drainage level and tillage. 2020 represented the second year of soybean evaluations of both carryover nitrogen treatments, seed treatment and foliar fungicide effects.

Shockingly, in 2019, tillage or drainage did not see an effect on soybean yields, but there was significant effect of corn management on soybean yield because of the high nitrogen treatment suppressing soybean yields. In 2019, the also found no increase in soybean yields by adding additional nitrogen, fungicide, insecticide or a combination of seed treatments, following the results of precious years. Drainage also had no effect on soybean emergence but there were notable interactions between soybean management practices and both tillage and drainage.

While this study will now begin its fourth year, researchers hope to find statistical data on the effects of drainage, tillage and nitrogen management on soybean yields so farmers can make the best decisions for their farm.

Download Progress Report

Soybean breeding and genetics

Aaron Lorenz / University of Minnesota /

The need for new, innovative genetics in the soybean market is critical to establishing a higher value and providing for our customers around the world. With the focus on developing conventional, glyphosate tolerate and food-type varieties adopted to Minnesota, continued testing of public and private varieties help Minnesota soybean farmers. Developing and discovering new sources of soybean resistant pests and diseases and the continued development of UAV-enabled high-throughput phenotyping has proven to raise the value of Minnesota soybeans.

Through plot trials and partnerships, 92 varieties were transferred to private seed companies, public universities and other university research projects for use as parents, test of quality, and yield preceding’s and to serve as experimental materials. In addition, invention disclosures were filled out for 31 varieties to begin the process of licensing, bringing new opportunities to soybean farmers in the future. With the support of commercial seed representatives, 140 unique varieties were entered into at least one of the four tests.

UAV-enabled high-throughput phenotyping for IDC resistance rations and maturing notes continue to develop, expand and advance. Learning how genetic variation in IDC tolerant changes throughout the growing season and what genes control IDC variation at different points in plant development will be valuable information. Using 2018 and 2019 maturity data and images collected have allowed researchers to determine that they can reliably predict maturity within two days through this breeding program.

As this continues to be an ongoing study. These developments are critical for new, early-maturing soybean varieties and incorporation of novel forms of pest and disease resistance into Minnesota-adapted germplasm.

Download Progress Report


Sweat Equity Projects

/ /

Project lead: Kim Nill, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council

Summary: A reduced budget due to low checkoff collections has cause MSR&PC to invest in creative, low-cost projects in FY20. Tackling non-tariff trade barriers can seem tough, but our team has hit the ground running and is working hand-in-hand with United State Trade Representatives to tackle six non-tariff trade barriers with China, Japan, Taiwan, India, the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Unlike the past, the current administration is working and closing trade deals quicker than any other point in history, providing us a unique opportunity to tackle these non-tariff trade barriers head-on. If we are successful in knocking down all six of these non-tariff trade barriers, we would generate an additional 2 million metric tons of annual export demand out of the Pacific Northwest ports, ultimately increasing the value of Minnesota soybeans.

As of April 2020, MSR&PC has testified and/or provided written testimony in the creation of the Taiwan’s billion-dollar commitment to Minnesota and Iowa in 2018, the Japan Phase 1 Trade Agreement and the China Phase 1 Trade agreement. It also provided written comments on a new trade deal with India. Each of these projects puts Minnesota on the map and sets us apart as a leader in the soybean industry. We know Minnesota farmers produce the highest quality soybeans in the country; we are doing our job to make sure the world knows.

If any questions, please contact: Kim Nill, MSR&PC Director of Market Development, 507-388-1635 or knill@mnsoybean.com

Download Progress Report

USMEF Red Meat Partnership

/ /

Project Lead: United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF)

Summary: Livestock is the number one consumer of soybean meal around the world. Collaborating with organizations like the United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is critical in the development and expansion of these markets. Increasing the value of U.S. pork and soybean industries go hand-in-hand. With record pork production expected in the U.S., the need for soybean meal is crucial to that expansion.

MSR&PC has continued to not only invest in projects in the U.S., but also invest in USMEF’s Red Meat Partnership in Japan, aimed to maintain and grow volumes of pork consumption in the country. USMEF created an entire pork campaign in Japan with a mascot called, Gochipo. In Japan, you will find Gochipo on food labels, billboards and in magazines, all aimed at increasing the consumption of pork in Japan. With the prolonged campaign, Japanese buyers see Gochipo as a symbol of safety and nutrition when making decisions for their families at the grocery store and in restaurants.

Defining this market share and developing new products and menu items has led to the continuous increase of pork consumption in Japan. With pork exports adding nearly nine percent to the soybean market, increasing the demand for pork worldwide is putting money in farmers’ pockets.

If any questions, please contact: John Hinners, USMEF Vice President of Industry Relations, jhinners@usmef.org

Download Progress Report