2017 Soybean Management and Research Technology On-farm Research Report is available
View the results from nine different on-farm research projects conducted by the SMaRT (Soybean Management and Research Technology) project in 2017. This year's report has a new look and has been published in a magazine format.
The 2017 SMaRT (Soybean Management and Research Technology) On-farm Research Report Part 1 and Part 2 will be mailed to 11,000 Michigan soybean producers in early January. It is also available online at the Michigan State University Extension Field Crop Team website and the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee website. The online version is the best way for agribusiness managers, sales representatives and agronomists to access the report, as it will be mailed to only Michigan soybean producers.
Producers should be aware that the 2017 report has a new look. This year, the report has been published in an 8.5-inch by 11-inch magazine format.
The report summarizes the results from nine different soybean projects evaluating products and management practices having the potential to increase soybean yields and income. Many of the projects were conducted at multiple sites in 2017 and some were conducted over multiple years. Forty-eight soybean producers conducted 56 individual on-farm trials in 2017. The trials fall within five categories: soil fertility, plant health, pest management, seed treatments and agronomy.
All treatments were replicated four times in nearly all of the trials to reduce the effect of field variability on the results. Proven statistical methods were used to determine if the treatments had a statistically significant effect on soybean yields. Finally, the effect that the treatments had on income was determined for each project.
One of the comments I’ve heard most often about past SMaRT research reports is there is little or no difference in the yields produced by the treatments and the untreated control in some of the trials (no magic bullet was found). This is the case for some of the products evaluated in 2017. However, this is still valuable information as there are two components to increasing income: increasing yields and reducing costs. If the new treatment does not perform significantly better than the untreated control when evaluated across multiple locations and over several years, producers may be able to save money and increase income by not using the product or management practice.
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. SMaRT is a partnership between MSU Extension and the Michigan Soybean Checkoff program.