Minnesota Soybean Business

Ground truths: Checkoff program seeks growers for on-farm research

May-June 2023

The North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) is seeking about 10 Minnesota soybean farms to participate in on-farm research trials during the 2023 growing season.

The organization’s goal is to eventually create a new digital cropping system application that compiles soil, seed, weather, planting date, seeding rate, chemical inputs and soybeans to give farmers resources to improve profitability. Click here for more information.

“We want to build a functional application model that farmers can use to manage production on their fields,” University of Minnesota Extension Agronomist and NCSRP State Specialist Seth Naeve said. “We think we can do just as good of a job as the big companies, and this project is basically driven by data through farmers.”

There’s little hassle involved for farmers willing to participate. NCSRP researchers will scout a farm field every few weeks during the growing season. Agronomists will be looking for insects, weeds, diseases, growth stages and abiotic stressors.

Seth Naeve and the North Central Soybean Research Program are seeking farmers to participate in on-farm research in 2023.

“The quality of the product is based on the number of samples we get,” said Naeve, who works with eight NCSRP state specialists. “The more data that comes from your region and farm, the better the product is. It’s going to do a lot of high-level stuff for farmers.”

Farmers will be asked for their yield monitor data at the end of the year; NCSRP will add soil, weather and satellite imagery information to each participating farmers’ yield data. The on-farm trials are part of NCSRP’s mission to continue delivering relevant information to growers.

“The soybean agronomy community I’m part of has really changed in the past few years,” Naeve said. “NCSRP has done a really nice job supporting and collecting work, and we need some ground truthing to know what’s going on. It helps us understand if there was sudden death or aphids in your field.”

NCSRP is also asking famers to complete a short survey providing 2022 information related to field locations, planting date, harvest date, yields, tillage and drainage types, etc. During the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) and Minnesota Soybean Growers Association’s (MSGA) April board meetings, Naeve urged both boards to take a few minutes and participate. Many directors, including MSGA President Bob Worth, complied with Naeve’s request.

“We all know farmers are asked to take a lot of surveys,” Worth said, “but this one is really beneficial to researchers who put a lot of time into improving our yield quality and addressing production challenges facing farmers throughout Minnesota.”

NCSRP is a collaboration of 13 state soybean groups, including MSR&PC (Vice Chair Tom Frisch sits on NCSRP’s board), covering about 85% of the soybeans grown in the U.S. It invests checkoff resources to improve yields and profitability through university research and extension. Any data that farmers share with NCSRP is kept anonymous. To learn more about NCSRP, visit ncsrp.com/ or to discuss logistics, contact Naeve at naeve002@umn.edu.


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