Survey being conducted to help Michigan soybean producers identify and overcome yield gaps

Michigan soybean producers have the opportunity to help researchers and agronomists identify and overcome barriers to higher soybean yields by participating in a volunteer survey.

Photo: Mindy Tape, MSU
Photo: Mindy Tape, MSU

Michigan is cooperating in a three-year, multi-state effort to help soybean producers identify and overcome the barriers to achieving higher soybean yields. This is the final year of the project and we need your help. Participation is voluntary, however, we need to collect field-specific information about yields, crop inputs and management practices from at least 200 non-irrigated fields that were planted to soybeans in 2017 to be able to generate meaningful results (more fields will produce better recommendations).

This is also our last chance to gather enough surveys from irrigated producers to be able to identify the yield barriers to producing higher irrigated soybean yields and the management practices for overcoming them. We need to collect survey information from 90 irrigated fields that were planted to soybeans in 2017 to accomplish this. The information provided will be kept confidential, combined with information from other Michigan soybean producers and used to identify yield barriers and ways for overcoming them.

How to participate

Surveys and instructions were distributed at educational programs and recently mailed to nearly 1,000 randomly selected soybean producers. My hope is that these producers and others in the state will complete and return the survey so we can generate recommendations for producing higher-yielding soybeans.

Producers who have not received the survey and would like to participate in the project can obtain the survey form instructions and survey forms online. The current survey form asks for information from four fields where soybeans were produced in 2017. There are two options for completing the survey:

  1. Download the fillable form and complete the form using a computer: 2017 Soybean Benchmarking Survey - Fillable Form.
  2. Download and print the printable form and complete the survey by hand: 2017 Soybean Benchmarking Survey - Print Form.

You can also contact me at 269-673-0370 ext. 2562 or and I will provide you with some brief instructions and the survey form. Please return the completed form before March 31, 2018, by fax (269-673-7005) or by mail (3255 122nd Ave., Suite 103, Allegan MI 49010).

Again, your participation in this important project is voluntary and all the information you provide will be kept confidential. The information from all the surveys will be used to identify yield-limiting factors, their interactions with soil and weather conditions and opportunities for increasing soybean yields in Michigan.

Additional incentives for completing the survey

I realize that completing the survey will take some time and effort, so as an additional incentive, producers that provide all the requested information and return surveys before March 31, 2018, will be entered into drawings for either $500 or $1,000. Producers that complete the survey for two fields will be entered into the drawing for $500. Producers that provide all the requested information for four fields will be entered into the drawing for $1,000. Only one survey form can be submitted per farm.

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. The SMaRT project is a partnership between Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee.

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