Checkoff Funded Research Update

January 2, 2020

Checkoff dollars are constantly at work through research projects sponsored by the South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council. These projects not only provide valuable information for producers, but also take steps to better the future of the industry. This year’s projects run from July 2019-June 2020 and highlight high yield protocols, weather, SCN management, and controlling weeds.

Achieving 100 Bu/A soybean yields: on-farm research and sharing high yield protocols with South Dakota soybean producers

David Clay, Professor of Soil Science, Sharon Clay, Distinguished Professor in the Agronomy, Horticulture & Plant Science department at SDSU, Connie Strunk, SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist, Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist, and Stephanie Bruggeman, Assistant Professor- Crop Production, are leading on-farm research to improve soybean yields. Their wide variety of research aims to share results with producers across South Dakota to improve yields and profits for producers.

Unfortunately, due to the poor weather, 35 projects had to be cancelled in 2019. The 55 remaining projects focused on a variety of topics including soil health, cover crops, the impact of increasing salt concentrations, and drainage. More analysis must be done on the data in the coming months, but it will be exciting to see the results that come from this wide variety of research.

If you’re interested in learning more about on the farm research opportunities for producers, please visit

Enhanced Weather Information for Soybean Growers and Pesticide Applicators

Laura Edwards, an SDSU Extension State Climatologist, in collaboration with Nathan Edwards and Ryan Vanderleest, from SD Mesonet and Dept. of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, are currently working on providing more weather information to soybean growers and applicators. One specific goal of the study is providing additional wind information. Through the installation of additional equipment at weather stations, the researchers are now able to calculate an estimated wind speed for boom height. This calculation is then displayed on the SD Mesonet Spray Tool and can be documented for recordkeeping.

This recordkeeping will also become easier as this project also aims to create an “On-Demand Spray Conditions” email system. This allows a user to enter their spray times and document weather conditions from any SD Mesonet site through email. A three-part educational video series on weather will also be developed as part of the research. The series will highlight weather concerns for pesticide applicators, discuss inversion detection, and help producers determine reliable weather sources for current conditions and forecasts.

Work on this project will continue into 2020, with more information being shared through social media, the SDSU Extension website, and at various in-person events.

The SD Mesonet website tool can be accessed at

Investigating Alternative Nematicides and Continued Grower Education for Improved Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) Management

Emmanuel Byamukama, SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist, and Shin-Yi, Assistant Professor in the Biology and Microbiology department at SDSU, are currently working on creating awareness of SCN testing services to producers and testing various plant extracts as potential nematicides against SCN.

Through this project a field day on SCN management was held in late August highlighting the differences in SCN resistant variety and susceptible variety. Participants in this event also learned about scouting for SCN and proper soil sample collection for SCN testing. Additional awareness of SCN testing services was also done through extension articles, radio interviews and tweets. In addition to this outreach, they are also testing plant extracts from wormwood weed (Artimesia abisinthium) and common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) as potential nematicides against SCN. Results from these tests are not yet reported.

An article describing early yellowing in soybean fields and its relationship to SCN was also produced through this project. You can check out the extension article at

Controlling Weeds in Soybeans

Sharon Clay, Distinguished Professor in the Agronomy, Horticulture & Plant Science Department at SDSU, Paul Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator, Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist and David Clay, Professor of Soil Science, are working on research to control weed in soybeans. They are investigating herbicide treatments, Xtend and Enlist soybean varieties and simulated drift on non-dicamba soybeans.

Through this project demonstration plots were established in three areas of South Dakota that highlighted today’s best herbicide options and application timings for resistant weed control in soybeans. This project also works to assess alternative herbicide treatments on resistant water hemp with more modes of action. It also continues assessment of traits in the Xtend and Enlist soybean varieties and works to establish drift on non-dicamba soybeans and then determine effects on yield. The plots from this study were planted and harvested in spring/summer and harvested this fall. Data and analysis from these studies will be available in the coming months.

Whether it’s investigating high yield protocols, weather, SCN management, or controlling weeds, these research projects will provide valuable information for producers and for the future of the industry.

This blog post is brought to you by the South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council.