Staying on top of all the latest ag technology, field data and research can be overwhelming. That’s why the Soybean Research & Information Initiative, formerly the Plant Health Initiative, continually provides you with access to expert information and news about soybean pests, diseases, and agronomics. The aim of this check off-funded website is to communicate the on-going progress and current understanding coming from your active and wide-ranging U.S. soybean research programs. Please visit often!


Tue, Oct 25, 2016
Development of Soybean Genotypes with Enhanced Capacity for Nitrogen Fixation
by Stella K. Kantartzi, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

In soybean, the symbiotic nitrogen (N)-fixing bacteria provide the needed N to the plant; however, modern cultivars rely on N fertilizers to achieve their full yield potential. Therefore, the improvement of di-nitrogen fixation capacity is considered essential in soybean breeding and might be achieved through the evaluation of traits related to biological nitrogen fixation.   Read more...
Mon, Oct 10, 2016
Engineered Resistance to Soybean Cyst Nematodes via Induced Gene Silencing (RNAi)
by Harold N. Trick, Director of KSU Plant Transformation Lab, Kansas State University

In the past year, we have selected four transgenic soybean lines that have shown consistent improved resistance to soybean cyst nematode (SCN). Two lines that target a specific nematode gene were able to reduce the number of SCN cysts by 50-60% and the number of SCN eggs by 55-70%, compared to the control. Two lines targeting a second gene were able to reduce both cyst and egg densities by 50 to 70% compared to the control.   Read more...
Wed, Sept 21, 2016
Soybean Stem Zone Lines: Fact and Fiction
by Kiersten Wise, Soybean Plant Pathologist, Purdue University

For years, zone lines on the interior of soybean stems were considered a diagnostic feature of the disease charcoal rot, caused by the fungus Macrophomina phaseolina. Recent research has shown, however, that this sign is NOT associated with charcoal rot, but is associated with diseases caused by Diaporthe species of fungi, like those which cause soybean stem canker and pod and stem blight.   Read more...
Tue, Sept 6, 2016
Soybean Seed Treatments: Questions that Emerge When Soybean Plants Don’t
by Kiersten Wise, Soybean Plant Pathologist, Purdue University

As part of an on-going regional research project called Identification and Biology of Seedling Pathogens of Soybean, funded by the North Central Soybean Research Program and the United Soybean Board, we answer frequently-asked questions about soybean emergence and seed treatments in this new publication.   Read more...
Fri, Aug 26, 2016
An Integrated Approach to Enhance the Durability of SCN Resistance for Long-Term Strategic Management
by Brian Diers, Soybean Breeder, University of Illinois, and Thomas Baum, Soybean Nematologist, Iowa State University

Although SCN-resistant soybean varieties are available to minimize yield loss to soybean cyst nematode (SCN), over 90% of the varieties available to growers in the north-central United States have the soybean line PI 88788 as the genetic source of resistance. The effectiveness of PI 88788 resistance has decreased over time as nematodes have adapted to this type of resistance. Producers are faced with limited options for rotation once virulent SCN populations develop in their fields.

To provide farmers with effective and durable rotation schemes, we have identified seven genes from five soybean lines, including wild soybean (Glycine soja), and are using them to develop lines with new combinations of SCN resistance genes.   Read more...
Tue, July 26, 2016
Benchmarking Soybean Production Systems in the North-Central USA
by Patricio Grassini, Cropping System Extension Specialist, University of Nebraska, and Shawn Conley, Soybean and Wheat Extension Specialist, University of Wisconsin

From 2010-2014, the average soybean yield in the north-central region was 43 bushels/acre. Yet some producers can consistently attain soybean yields near or greater than 80 bushels/acre. In the first few months of a 3-year project, we have collected data from over 3,000 soybean fields in the region and are identifying key management factors that can be used by individual producers to increase soybean yield closer to the yield potential of their farms.   Read more...
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