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Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board

Soy News March 2001


State Board Approves Research Funds

The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board met on March 8, 2001 and reviewed proposals for research funding for the 2001 fiscal year. The Board was forced to again reduce its annual research budget due to the low production numbers and price for the calendar year 2000 crop. The Board sought to maintain as thorough a research program as possible given the budget considerations, and approved a total of $839,775 in project funding for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture for the year. The specific projects funded and amounts approved for each follow:


Integration of Resistant Soybeans with a Biological Control Agent for Suppression of the Soybean Cyst Nematode $40,759
Evaluation and Incorporation of Varieties (Transgenic-Roundup Ready and Conventional) in Differing Arkansas Soybean Production Environments and Cropping Systems $53,000
Helping Arkansas Rice Farmers Exploit Market Opportunities by Improved Use of Soybean, Wheat, And Corn in Rice Rotations $36,726
Effects of Tillage, Row Spacing, and Genotype on Severity of Charcoal Rot in Soybean $26,160
Developing Cost Effective Weed Management Systems $90,000
Weed Interference and Weed Management $46,432
Soybean Variety Testing $12,000
Breeding Improved Varieties and Germplasm $53,000
Field Screening of New Cultivars for Performance Under High Disease Pressure from Major Diseases and Nematodes $60,000
Screening for Resistance to Phomopsis Seed Infection In Soybean Cultivars and Germplasm to Improve Seed Quality $20,000
Effect of Disease Resistant Cultivars and Fungicide Seed Treatment on Soybean Establishment and Yield $50,000
Identifying Causal Pathogens and Insect Vectors of Green Bean Syndrome in Arkansas $24,500
Improving Yield and Yield Stability for Irrigated Soybean $35,000
Soybean Drought Tolerance Research $58,000
Soybean Adaptation to Restrictive Soil Environments $25,700
Soybean Research Verification Program $93,798
Improving Technology Transfer for Profitable and Sustainable Soybean Production $66,000
Improving the Adaptation and Diversity of Arkansas Soybean $48,700
TOTAL $839,775

Arkansas Representatives named to USB

Two new representatives from Arkansas recently joined Jerry Ford of Lake Village representing Arkansas on the United Soybean Board. Todd Allen from West Memphis, and David Feilke from Stuttgart were appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture in December to serve three-year terms. The Board oversees the national soybean checkoff program. Mr. Feilke and Mr. Ford also serve on the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.

Checkoff Farmer-Leaders Take New Strategic Direction

The 62 farmer-leaders of the United Soybean Board (USB) recently outlined the framework for the upcoming fiscal year for the farmer-driven soybean checkoff by revising the USB Long-Range Strategic Plan and adopting eight strategic priorities. These actions taken at the USB board meeting, March 2-5, provide a benchmark to achieve the checkoff's mission, which is to create an environment in which U.S. soybean farmers can maximize profits. "One of the ways we hope to do this is to achieve our marketing goal of increasing U.S. soybean domestic utilization and exports from 2.2 billion bushels back in 1992 to 3 billion bushels by 2005," says USB Chairman Doug Magnus, a soybean farmer from Slayton, Minn.

A record 991 million bushels of U.S. soybeans were exported in the 2000 marketing year, and effective checkoff programs played a part. The checkoff has worked with the aquaculture industry in China, the largest importing country of U.S. soybeans with 191 million bushels, to begin using soybean meal in feed rations. China currently uses the equivalent of 176 million bushels of soybeans in aquafeeds, and that figure is expected to grow by approximately 35 percent over the next two years.

"Not only do U.S. soybean farmers demand that the soybean checkoff be effective, but that it also be efficient," explains Magnus. "Perhaps there's no better example of this than USB's Health Research Program, which turned a $10,000 checkoff investment to encourage the development of a formal research proposal on the link between soy consumption and the reduced risk of osteoporosis into a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health."

The checkoff's production goal to produce U.S. soybeans more efficiently and in an environmentally responsible manner in order to meet the needs of end users demonstrates how U.S. soybean farmers are taking the lead to improve the quality of their product. "U.S. soybean farmers recognize competition from other soybean-producing countries and other protein sources is getting stronger," Magnus says. "That's why the farmer-led Better Bean Initiative aims to improve the compositional traits of U.S. soybean meal and oil and meet the changing needs of domestic and international customers."

Researchers to Test New Soybean Variety with Two Key Improvements

A new soybean variety lower in saturated fat and containing traits that reduce the need to hydrogenate oil will be tested this growing season by researchers. This variety was developed as a result of the Better Bean Initiative (BBI), a soybean checkoff-funded research effort to develop an improved commodity soybean and enhance soybean farmer profitability by meeting the ever-changing needs of soy end users. Soybeans provide more than 75 percent of the oil used in foods. A new variety integrating composition improvements that reduce the need to hydrogenate and lower the saturated fat content of oil will help keep U.S. soybean farmers competitive.

Soybean Checkoff Helped Develop Fifteen New Products in 2000

The Soybean Checkoff researches and develops new soybean uses in five different market areas: adhesives, coatings and inks, lubricants, plastics, and solvents and specialty chemicals.

Fifteen new soy-based products were introduced to the marketplace in 2000 as a result of effective and efficient checkoff investments. Some uses for the new products introduced include: wood adhesive, concrete stain, engine oil, paint remover, ink remover and an industrial cleaner/ degreaser.

Southern Research Initiative

The United Soybean Board recently coordinated an effort by southern region states to get federal grant money for soybean research. The Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems (IFAFS) grants are available through USDA for various agriculture related research efforts. The USB brought together southern state soybean research and extension leaders and producers during its recent meeting to identify southern soybean production research priorities and develop proposals for IFAFS grants. Arkansas was represented during the meeting by Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board and USB Board member David Feilke, along with University of Arkansas scientist Dr. Larry Purcell and Extension Soybean Specialist Dr. Lanny Ashlock. The group identified two priority research areas for southern soybean producers: Drought Avoidance and Economic and Agronomic Sustain-ability. Two teams were chosen to prepare proposals for grants to conduct the research efforts. Arkansas is represented on both research teams. Proposals will be submitted to USDA for regional, multi-state research programs addressing the two areas, and if approved the respective state Universities will receive funds to conduct portions of the research effort.

2000-2001 Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board:

Mr. David Walt, Dumas, Chairman
Mrs. Mary Ratcliffe, Sweet Home, Vice-Chairman
*Mr. David Feilke, Stuttgart, Secretary/Treasurer
Mr. Bobby Crow, Dardanelle; *Mr. Jerry Ford, Lake Village; Mr. Thad Freeland, Tillar; Mr. Dick Howard, Clarkedale; Mr. Roger Pohlner, Fisher; Dr. Art Simpson, Marked Tree

Note: * denotes a representative to the United Soybean Board

Staffing provided by Warren Carter, Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation. For questions about any information in this newsletter or for more information on board-funded programs, please contact any of the above board members, call 501-228-1238, or write Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, P. O. Box 31, Little Rock, AR 72203.

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For additional information about any board-related activity contact:

Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board
ATTN: Warren Carter
P.O. Box 31
Little Rock, AR 72203-0031
Phone: 501-228-1265

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