2015 SMaRT on-farm research report is available

Soybean producers and agribusiness representatives can download the results from 11 different on-farm research projects conducted by the 2015 Soybean Management and Research Technology project.

2015 SMaRT on-farm research projects and locations.
2015 SMaRT on-farm research projects and locations.

The 2015 SMaRT (Soybean Management and Research Technology) on-farm research report will be mailed to 12,000 Michigan soybean producers in early January 2016. It is also available online at: 2015 SMaRT Research Report. The online version is the best way for agribusiness managers, sales representatives and agronomists to access the report as it will be mailed to only Michigan soybean producers.

The report summarizes the results from 11 different soybean projects evaluating products and management practices having the potential to increase soybean yields and income. Many of the projects were conducted at multiple sites in 2015 and some were conducted over multiple years. Sixty-five soybean producers conducted 86 individual on-farm trials in 2015. The trials fall within three categories: soil fertility, plant health and pest management and agronomy.

The treatments were replicated four times in nearly all of the trials to reduce the effect of field variability on the results. Proven statistical methods were used to determine if the treatments had a statistically significant effect on soybean yields. Finally, the effect the treatments had on income was determined for each project.

One of the comments I’ve heard most often about past SMaRT research reports is there is little or no difference in the yields produced by the treatments and the untreated control in some of the trials (no magic bullet was found). This is the case again in 2015. However, this is still valuable information as there are two components to increasing income: increasing yields and reducing costs. If the new treatment does not perform significantly better than the untreated control when evaluated across multiple locations and over several years, producers can save money and increase income by not using the product or management practice.

There are several things to consider when interpreting the information in the 2015 SMaRT Research Report. The gypsum results show only the short-term effects of gypsum on soybean yields. We plan to track long-term effects on yields and infiltration rates, so look for this information in future SMaRT research reports. When interpreting results from the white mold trials, please note that the incidence of white mold was very low at all of our sites in 2015.

The research report was a team effort. However, please contact me at 269-673-0370 ext. 2562 or staton@msu.edu if you have any questions or comments regarding the report.

This article was produced by the SMaRT project (Soybean Management and Research Technology). The SMaRT project was developed to help Michigan producers increase soybean yields and farm profitability. SMaRT is a partnership between Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Soybean Checkoff program.

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