Overview of 2020 soybean on-farm research projects
On-farm soybean research trials will continue to be conducted by Michigan soybean producers in 2020. The 2020 projects are listed in this article and producers are encouraged to participate.
The SMaRT (Soybean Management and Research Technology) program has provided Michigan soybean producers with a statistically valid method for evaluating the yield and income benefits of new products, equipment and management practices since its inception in 2011. The acronym of “SMaRT” will no longer be used, however the program itself will continue unchanged and will be called the “Michigan Soybean On-farm Research program.” Our goals are to keep the trials as easy as possible for the cooperators to conduct and yet generate credible, meaningful and reliable results that producers can use to increase their farm income.
Producers across Michigan have identified new products and management practices of interest to them and will evaluate the identified projects in field-scale research trials in 2020. The data from these trials will be collected, subjected to statistical scrutiny, summarized across locations and years, and shared with soybean producers in the 2020 Michigan On-farm Research Report and at educational meetings. The identities of the cooperating farmers are always kept confidential.
The products and production practices we will evaluate in 2020 are listed below.
Spring tillage: This project will determine the yield and income benefits of performing one-pass tillage operations compared to no-tillage. Cooperators choose the tillage implement they want to evaluate.
Planting rates: This project will compare the effects of four planting rates (80,000, 100,000, 130,000 and 160,000 seeds per acre) on soybean yield and income. To balance statewide trial distribution, we are targeting irrigated sites and non-irrigated sites outside of the Thumb.
Planting date: This project will measure the effect that planting date has on soybean yield an income in 2020.
Saltro seed treatment: This project will evaluate the performance of Saltro, a new seed treatment from Syngenta. Choose sites that have a history of moderate to severe SDS and have SCN present.
Row spacing: This project will compare soybean yield and income from two row spacings (15 inches versus 30 inches) planted with planters equipped with interplant units.
In-furrow biological and humic acid: This project will evaluate the yield and income benefits of applying two products distributed by Wilbur Ellis (Nutrio Unlock and Puric Prime Max) in the seed furrow (products cannot be applied 2x2).
Planting system comparison: This project will compare the yield and income benefits of different planting systems (unit planters, box drills and air seeders) in the row widths and planting rates selected by the cooperator. For example: A 15-inch planter could be compared to a drill set up to seed in 15-inch rows or a 30-inch planter could be compared to a drill set up for 7.5-inch or 15-inch rows.
Planting green: This project will compare the yield and income benefits of planting into a green small grain cover crop to terminating the cover crop prior to planting.
Foliar fungicide (Miravis Neo): This project will evaluate the effect of a single foliar application of a relatively new fungicide from Syngenta, Miravis Neo on soybean yield and income.
Foliar fertilizer plus post-emergence herbicide: This project will evaluate the yield and income benefits of adding a foliar fertilizer (NDemand 88 from Wilbur Ellis) to a post-emergence herbicide application.
White mold cobra and foliar fungicide comparison: This project will compare the effect of a sequential application of Cobra herbicide followed by Approach fungicide to a single application of Propulse fungicide on white mold disease incidence and soybean yield. Choose sites that have a history of severe and relatively uniform white mold within the past five years.
White mold application timing: Three fungicide application timings will be compared to identify the optimum fungicide application timing and to help validate the Sporecaster phone app. This trial must be conducted in a field that has had severe and relatively uniform white mold within the past five years.
Soybean management system comparison: This project will determine if an aggressive management system focused on added inputs is more profitable than a conservative management system focused on minimizing input costs.
Cover crop (cereal rye): This project will determine the yield, income and soybean cyst nematode population suppression benefits of adding a cereal rye cover crop prior to planting soybean. The trial should be conducted in fields with confirmed presence of soybean cyst nematode and the rye should be planted in alternating strips in late summer (after wheat or inter-planted into corn) or in the fall following corn harvest.
While the on-farm trials are designed to improve the profitability of all Michigan soybean producers, the trial cooperators benefit the most from the program. This is because they learn how the products or management practices perform under the specific conditions existing on their farms. Also, in 2020 the cooperating producers will have the opportunity to select the specific tillage tool or planting systems they want to evaluate.
If you are interested in conducting one or more of these trials on your farm in 2020, please contact me at 269-673-0370 ext. 2562 or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
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