SALISBURY, MD. (June 16, 2015) – A multi-year project lead by the U.S. Geological Survey to monitor the nutrient quality and the age of groundwater as it leaves farm fields along the Upper Chester River continues in Queen Anne’s County.

Funding the project for the 2015-2016 year has been approved by the Maryland Soybean Board.

The $39,923 soybean checkoff grant was one of a total of 10 grants totaling $180,887 authorized by the board before spring planting. The Maryland Soybean Board administers the soybean checkoff program in the state. Through the soybean checkoff, farmers contribute one-half of one percent of the net market value of soybeans at the first point of sale to support research, marketing and education projects.

USGS investigators are monitoring the groundwater that percolates through the ground from both irrigated and dryland corn and soybean fields. They want to know what’s in that water in the way of nutrients – fertilizers – and how long it takes that water to get from the field to the stream.

The research is being supported also by the Maryland Grain Producers Association and is expected to take another two years to complete.

Here’s a rundown on the other checkoff grants awarded by the board:

  • A total of $22,106 for two projects by Dr. Robert Kratochvil, University of Maryland grain specialist. He is exploring the role of variety maturity and planting date on the performance of dry-land double crop soybeans, and secondly, the response of full season irrigated soybeans to poultry manure.
  • $20,000 to Schillinger Seeds to support the development of non-GMO varieties to be used in feed for poultry and fish. Schillinger is a national firm with a research farm in Queenstown on the Eastern Shore.
  • $13,550 to University of Maryland entomologist Dr. Cerruti Hooks to lead a study of how and when to kill a rye cover crop and how that choice may impact soil moisture and soil temperature or weed populations.
  • $25,962 to retired University of Maryland entomologist Dr. Galen Dively, who wants to know whether repeated use of herbicide-treated seed has any impact on non-target bugs on the crop above the soil or microbes in the soil under it.
  • $24,426 to Dr. Ray Weil, University of Maryland soils who has plotted a six-point study ranging from determining if early planted cover crops can capture the nitrogen that is deep in the soil profile to evaluating the effect of aerial application of early cover crops into standing soybean or corn crops.
  • $ 20,000 to University of Delaware plant pathologist Dr. Jeb Jaisi to continue his exploration of the origins of phosphorous in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • $6,550 to Dr. William Lamp and Jessica Grant to look at the over-wintering rate of the kudzu bug in Maryland and what the degree-day requirements are for the pest to colonize in Maryland soybeans.
  • $8,370 to Caroline County ag agent Jim Lewis to determine the soybean maturity capable of producing, in Maryland, the highest yield with irrigation and at an early or late planting date.

About Maryland Soybean Board: The Maryland Soybean Board administers soybean checkoff funds for soybean research, marketing and education programs in the state. One-half of the checkoff funds stay in Maryland for programs; the other half is sent to the United Soybean Board. To learn more about the Maryland Soybean Board, visit

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For More Information:
Sandy Davis, Maryland Soybean Board
(410) 742-9500