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Soybean and feed grain group awards $1.8 million to LSU AgCenter

The Louisiana Soybean and Feed Grains Research and Promotion Board has awarded $1.8 million to the LSU AgCenter for research and extension projects in 2013. 

The Louisiana Soybean and Feed Grains Research and Promotion Board has awarded $1.8 million to the LSU AgCenter for research and extension projects in 2013.

“Soybean and feed grains farmers produced record yields and generally received high prices for their crops,” said B. Rogers Leonard, LSU AgCenter associate vice chancellor for research. “These results increased the amount of checkoff funds available to support LSU AgCenter projects. We appreciate the board’s support.”

New research projects being funded include an evaluation of soybean production practices in southwest Louisiana by Dustin Harrell, agronomist at the Rice Research Station in Crowley.

“Soybean acreage in southwest Louisiana is very important in rice-soybean rotation systems,” Leonard said. “Most of our soybean research in the past has been concentrated in north and central Louisiana. Dr. Harrell’s work will begin to address some of the specific production issues in that region of the state.”

Other new research projects focus on nutrient management and the effect on water quality. For example, Josh Lofton, researcher at the Macon Ridge Research Station, will be studying irrigation timing for soybeans and the effects of nitrogen loss on corn growth.

Beatrix Haggard, a soil fertility specialist, will conduct studies on fertilizer application strategies in field corn and soybean production systems using on-farm sites and research station small plot work.

A new insect pest management project involves evaluation of the three-cornered alfalfa hopper’s pest status in soybeans by Julien Beuzelin, a researcher at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center in Alexandria.

Kenneth Damann and Zhi-Yuan Chen, both plant pathologists, received continuing funding under a regional project concerning management of a corn grain disease. The board leverages its funds into multistate efforts across the southern United States by supporting the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence.

“This is the second year that these two AgCenter scientists have competed for and been awarded support for their disease management work,” Leonard said.

Clayton Hollier, also a plant pathologist, received funding to continue monitoring the occurrence and distribution of Asian soybean rust in the state to alert farmers and prevent the spread of this deadly disease. He will also continue quantifying soybean yield losses due to diseases.

Other continuing projects funded include the following:


  • Small grain breeding, variety development and testing, Steve Harrison.
  • Soil test calibration/fertilization research for sustainable soybean and corn production, Brenda Tubana.
  • Agronomic research and extension to improve soybean production, Ron Levy.
  • Soybean and grain on-farm demonstration program, Ron Levy.
  • Corn on-farm demonstration program, Ron Levy.
  • Evaluation of varieties and management for improved soybean seed quality, Josh Lofton.
  • Wheat residue effects on soil quality and soybean yield, Josh Lofton.
  • Research and extension program for grain sorghum production, Josh Lofton.
  • Cultural practices that influence corn yield, aflatoxin accumulation and grain sorghum yield, Rick Mascagni.

Plant disease management

  • Electrically charged fungicide adjuvant, Cristina Sabliov.
  • Using molecular biology to control soybean diseases, Zhi-Yuan Chen.
  • Cercospora leaf blight disease in soybeans, Zhi-Yuan Chen.
  • Biology and control of major diseases of soybeans, Raymond Schneider.
  • Screening soybean breeding lines for resistance to viruses, Rodrigo Valverde.
  • Evaluation of Cercospora leaf blight and purple seed stain in soybeans, Boyd Padgett.
  • Soybean varieties and fungicides for disease management, Boyd Padgett.
  • Managing diseases in corn and wheat, Boyd Padgett.

 Insect pest management

  • Biology and control of soybean insect pests, Jeff Davis.
  • An integrated strategy for managing stink bugs in soybeans, Jeff Davis.
  • Emerging insect pest problems in field corn and grain sorghum, Fangneng Huang.
  • Refining field corn and grain sorghum insect pest management, David Kerns.
  • Optimizing chemical control strategies for soybean pests, David Kerns.

Weed management

  • Weed management and biological research in soybeans, Jim Griffin.
  • Weed management systems for soybeans and feed grains, Daniel Stephenson.
  • Weed control in northeast Louisiana for soybeans, corn and grain sorghum, Donnie Miller.

In addition to the research and extension programs, the board also allotted money for the development of mobile device applications and an annual printed progress report.

“We’re just about ready to release an app on soybean weed, insect pest and disease management,” Leonard said. “Over the next year, we’ll start the process of developing similar apps for wheat, field corn and grain sorghum. These will be extremely helpful for people who want access to real-time information easily accessible on mobile devices.”

The Louisiana Soybean and Feed Grains Research and Promotion Board, which includes farmers appointed by the governor, administers the funds obtained through national and state checkoff programs. 

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