What is soybean production research?

Soy checkoff-funded production research works to increase and protect soybean yields and improve soybean composition. Checkoff investments in research have spurred new technologies that have benefited farmers for decades.

For example, one of the checkoff’s greatest research successes is the role it played in assisting in sequencing the soybean genome. This reference guide has been used throughout the U.S. soybean industry to speed up the identification of new, valuable genes. It expedites the development of new varieties, such as those with better resistance to diseases and environmental stressors.

Likewise, the checkoff invests in plant-breeding research, genomics and molecular genetics, as well as the identification of best management practices. Checkoff-funded research also explores improvements to the nutritional qualities of soybeans such as protein level, digestibility and amino acid content.

Why is it important?

Maximizing profit opportunities for U.S. soybean farmers begins in the field. That’s why USB and state soybean boards work together to coordinate and collaborate on research investments. In addition, USB and state soybean boards have put more focus on conveying technology, research results and best management practices directly to farmers.

What is happening now?

The soy checkoff regularly invests a portion of its budget in production research to increase and protect soybean yields and improve the many nutrient aspects soybeans deliver. This public-sector research serves a foundational role in the private sector’s continued improvement in developing various traits and commercializing those products.

Key messages

  • The soy checkoff funds production research at land-grant universities across the nation. These projects, along with the collaborative relationship between the public and private sectors that the checkoff fosters, are critical to developing new technology that benefits farmers.
  • Private companies often rely on checkoff-funded research as the groundwork to develop new commercial varieties.
  • The soy checkoff has played a leading role in establishing Take Action, an industry-wide partnership to help farmers manage herbicide, fungicide and insect resistance. This effort encourages farmers to adopt research-proven management practices that lessen the impact of resistant weeds, diseases and insects as well as preserve current and future pest control technology.
  • Checkoff-funded research gives scientists the opportunity to find and harness the untapped potential of soybean genetics and research technologies.