The Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board (MSPB) mission of reinvesting soybean checkoff dollars into research and extension programs to improve the long-term success of our commodity and increase the bottom-line potential for Mississippi soybean growers is making a difference.
According to the latest data supplied by Mississippi State University Extension, the estimated Mississippi agricultural commodity values for soybeans have now jumped into the No. 2 spot, replacing forestry, with an estimated 2020 production value of $1.21 billion. Soybean markets with increased acreage and yields from 2019 helped improve the production numbers.
Reinvesting in research
We must, however, remain competitive and continue to invest resources in priority areas that will impact Mississippi soybeans and create a sustainable economic environment for farmers today and tomorrow. Investments are specific for Mississippi and target categories such as soils, irrigation efficiency and water quality, insect and disease management, weed management and production systems. MSPB identifies and supports research programs on important agronomics relevant to our state soybean farmers.
Through MSPB research reinvestments in soybeans, we now have better-performing varieties that have been tested across technology, soils and various environmental situations. Improved disease ratings and scouting techniques have driven an increase in production value. The MSPB website is the hub for soybean farming in Mississippi.
The Variety Selector tool at MSSOY.org contains the information and disease rating growers need to know in order to make sound planting decisions. Additional good sources of information on variety selection and management can be found at MSU Soybean Variety Trials from the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES) Official Variety Trial website and the Mississippi Crop Situation Blog at www.mississippi-crops.com.
There is a tremendous amount of resource material and data based on soy checkoff-funded research projects on the MSPB website. The resources pages on the site contain all of the many production challenges that have been addressed by the researchers. Annual and final research reports, YouTube videos and the Variety Selector tool offer our growers the latest information in soybean production. Other reasons to visit MSSOY.org include the following:
- Regular agronomic articles on timely tips in areas that influence Mississippi’s production systems.
- The Mississippi Soybean Scouting Guide outlines scouting practices, common pests and other issues in Mississippi soybeans.
- The Mississippi Soybean Irrigation Guide contains irrigation research and scheduling guidelines, along with tips and tools to consider for irrigated soybean production in Mississippi.
Reinvesting in researchers
MSPB research also supports the advancement of soybeans, future researchers and agricultural industry workers through student employment and graduate students. Educating and training are two key components of MSPB-funded projects.
Blade Hodges checking sensors for evaluating in-field soil moisture variability and the associated impact on irrigation. (Photo courtesy Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board)
Blade Hodges graduated from MSU in December 2020 with a Master of Science degree. He evaluated in-field soil moisture variability and the associated impact on irrigation under the guidance of assistant extension professor Dr. Mary Love Tagert. His involvement in research for MSPB provided many learning opportunities and will offer many benefits during his professional career at Helena Chemical Company.
“Many of the skills that I used in the field and on the computer will give me an advantage in my current role,” Hodges said. “I learned to look at decision-making from a holistic view and using all of the pieces of the puzzle to solve a problem based on a farm-by-farm or field-by-field basis. I am very appreciative of MSPB for funding my research project.”
A volunteer board of soybean farmers, MSPB invests checkoff dollars in ongoing public research and extension programs that address Mississippi production challenges and drives the adoption of best management practices developed through research, ensuring the sustainability of Mississippi soybean production. The checkoff investments made locally create demand and profitability for our Mississippi growers.
Soybean farmer profitability is the mission of the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board. MSPB invests checkoff dollars in public research and programs to address production challenges and drive the adoption of management practices. Learn more about ways MSPB ensures the sustainability of Mississippi soybean production at MSSOY.org.
Editor’s note: Dennis Reginelli is the executive director with the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.