Producers can learn new information about how new products, management practices and equipment perform on their farms by conducting replicated research trials.
For the past 11 years, the Michigan Soybean On-farm Research program (a partnership between Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Soybean Committee) has evaluated the yield and income benefits of new products, practices and equipment in on-farm research trials. The on-farm research projects are selected based on input from soybean producers and agribusiness agronomists. We summarized the input received from more than 300 producers and agronomists to identify the 13 projects listed below that we plan to conduct in 2022.
Broadcast potassium fertilizer
This project will determine the yield and income benefits of applying a maintenance/crop removal rate of 0-0-60 in the spring on fields having soil test K levels in or below the maintenance range.
This project will measure the effect that planting date has on soybean yield and income.
Saltro versus ILeVO Seed Treatment
This project will compare the performance of Saltro from Syngenta to ILeVO from BASF on sites having a history of moderate to severe sudden death syndrome (SDS) and have soybean cyst nematode (SCN) present. Both Saltro and ILeVO will be provided.
Heads UP seed treatment
This project will compare soybean yield and income from applying Heads UP seed treatment from Heads Up Plant Protectants Inc. on sites having a history of white mold.
2×2 starter fertilizer
This project offers cooperators an opportunity to evaluate the yield and income benefits of their soybean 2×2 starter fertilizer program. Some cooperators may want to conduct this trial in multiple fields having differing yield potentials.
Planting equipment comparison
This project will compare the yield and income benefits of different planting equipment (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.
Biological plus post-emergence herbicide
This project will evaluate the yield and income benefits of adding a biological product (STIMULATE from GarrCo Products) to a post-emergence herbicide application. The STIMULATE will be provided to cooperators.
This project will evaluate the yield and income benefits of sequential applications of Growthful Post-Emerge Spray, a relatively new acidifying agent from Aqueus. The product will be provided.
Prescription foliar fertilizer
This project will evaluate the yield and income benefits of applying a prescription foliar fertilizer based on the results from in-season plant tissue samples. The foliar fertilizer will be provided to cooperators.
Foliar fertilizer plus foliar fungicide
This project will compare the yield and income benefits of adding a foliar fertilizer (eNhance from Agroliquid) to a prophylactic foliar fungicide application. This trial is a good fit for producers planning to apply a foliar fungicide in 2022. The eNhance will be provided.
Foliar fungicide (Delaro Complete)
This project will evaluate the effect of a single foliar application of a relatively new fungicide from Bayer CropScience on soybean yield and income when applied in high-yield environments. The fungicide will be provided to the first nine cooperators.
White mold fungicide application timing
Two fungicide application timings will be compared to an untreated control to identify the optimum fungicide application timing for managing white mold and to help validate the new Sporecaster phone app. This trial must be conducted in a field that has had severe and relatively uniform white mold within the past five to seven years. The fungicide will be provided.
Cover crop (cereal rye)
This project will determine the yield, income and SCN 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 SCN 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. The strips should be wider than the combine header.
In 2021, 45 producers conducted 63 soybean on-farm trials, which were summarized in the 2021 Michigan Soybean On-Farm Research Report. Many of these producers told me they gain valuable information by conducting trials on their farms because they learned how the products, practices or equipment performed on their soils and under their management.
We are always looking for new cooperators, so I encourage anyone interested in conducting one of the projects listed above to contact me by phone (269-355-3376) or email ([email protected]).