Fifteen projects, ranging from the development of new seed to how to manage the possible invasion of a new pest, have been approved for checkoff funding by the Maryland Soybean Board. The grants totaled $192,840.

Here’s a rundown…

•             A total of $16,570 to Dr. Robert Kratochvil,  University of Maryland Extension and oil crop specialist, for two projects – $7,150 to evaluate plant growth and plant health regulators on the agronomic performance of full-season soybeans and $9,420 to see how both full-season and double-crop beans respond to the placement and application rate of potassium fertilizer. Both studies are in response to farmers seeking to  “attain the next level of soybean yield” in the Maryland environment, he said.

•             A total of $34,250 to Schillinger Genetics for three projects seeking to further develop soybean varieties with traits which would enhance their  nutritive value for feed for poultry, fish and shrimp.

•             $14,300 to University of Maryland entomologist Dr. Cerutti Hooks to study whether the management of a barley cover crop  – in its residue and its herbicide practices – has an impact on the insects, weeds, soil moisture and yield of the soybean crop which will follow it. It is planned as a two-year endeavor.

•             $3,090 to Caroline County Extension ag agent Jim Lewis to evaluate how various soybean maturity groups perform under irrigation. Lewis says there is some evidence that farmers are planting seed from a too long maturity group, which, under irrigation, produce tall, lanky plants that easily lodge and have few pods.

•             $5,000 to Armando Rosario-Lebron of the University of Maryland Department of Entomology to explore, over a two-year study, the possibility that inter-planting marigolds with soybean could lure to the field an army of natural enemies — parasitic wasps and other predators — to attack the brown marmorated stink bug.

•             $4,200 to St. Mary’s County ag agent Ben Beale to continue into a second year his exploration of the causes and extent of Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus in Maryland.  Beale said that first year studies indicated that the disease can occur from early spring into the summer and that yields are not greatly affected.

•             $7,566 to Dr. Galen Dively, retired University of Maryland entomologist, to continue wide ranging studies related to the control of the brown marmorated stink bug.

•             $7,625 to University of Maryland environmental scientist Dr. Ray Weil to study the study the use of sulfur as a fertility agent in soybeans. “We hypothesize,” he wrote, “that sulfur fertilization may provide important benefits to farmers in terms of both yield and protein quality of the soybean crop. If the quality aspects can be documented, sulfur management may open opportunities for premium priced soybeans.”

•             $12,215 to University of Maryland entomologist to prepare Maryland farmers for a possible invasion from the south of the kudzu bug. Lamp will prepare educational materials to aid in the detection, the biology and the control and management of the pest which feeds not only on the kudzu vine but soybeans as well.

•             $3,185 to Ron Mulford, retired manager of UMD’s Poplar Hill Research Farm near Salisbury and now operating as Mulford Agronomics, to continue his in-the-field studies of foliar fertilizers. Mulford wants to know if the low rate high efficiency  fertility programs now being marketed by four companies are as productive as the University of Maryland’s  established fertility program for soybeans.

•             $20,000 to Dr. Deb Jaisi, a University of Delaware research scientist, to study and identify the origins of potassium in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The project is also being supported by the soybean checkoff boards of Delaware and Pennsylvania.

•             $64,839 to researchers for the U.S. Geological Survey to capture and analyze water flowing into the Chester River from two parcels – both having been spread with manure but one under irrigation and the other dryland. They are testing a premise that groundwater – down to about 60 feet – contains less nitrate under the irrigation system than that flowing from the dryland. The project is expected to last another two to four years.