Soybean field

South Dakota soybean growers are being asked to participate in a farmer-led on-farm research program that aims to learn how farmers are dealing with agronomic issues from controlling weeds to managing soil fertility.

“This program empowers South Dakota soybean growers by expanding their knowledge of conducting and evaluating on-farm research,” said Connie Strunk, SDSU Extension plant pathology specialist.

The farmer-led research program is a collaborative effort between extension, the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU.

It allows farmers to double as citizen scientists, testing various products and farming practices in their own soybean fields with the intent to increase yields, ward off pests and diseases and improve their bottom line.

“Soybean producers are dealing with an overwhelming assortment of crop production, management and product input choices,” Strunk said. “More information is needed on cost-effective practices to control diseases, insects and weeds, as well as managing soil fertility, tillage, row spacing and other agronomic decisions.”

Since producers are inundated with product choices, the best way to know if any of these products will work on their farm, Strunk said, is to test them on site or visit the research program’s website to see if a research trial has already been conducted in a field near them.

How it works

The program provides easy access results to producer-driven research.

1. Producers get to choose what product or management practice they want to study and evaluate on their farm.

2. SDSU Extension staff provides personalized, one-on-one help to set up testing protocols, data collection and analysis and website result summarization.

3. Program participants receive a customized report and recommendations for implementation within their operation.

4. All farm and farmer information remain confidential.

5. Results are shared online at onfarmresearch.sdsoybean.org for all South Dakota soybean farmers to access and utilize when making management decisions.

“SDSU Extension bridges the gap between university research and producers," Strunk said. "We offer assistance in conducting unbiased on-farm research projects by providing information and application guidance for producers. Soybean growers who take part in the program have the opportunity to focus on what they want to evaluate on their farm."

Sign up today

To sign up for the on-farm research program, contact Strunk at 605-782-3290 or email at connie.strunk@sdstate.edu or Sara Bauder, SDSU Extension agronomy specialist at 605-995-7378 or email at sara.bauder@sdstate.edu.