The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council board of directors strategically invests Missouri farmers’ checkoff dollars to develop and evaluate practical and innovative research for the benefit of Missouri soybean producers and their end users. Research investments are reviewed by professional staff as well as a team of Missouri farmers to ensure the research efforts continue to address the needs of growers.

2020 Funding Information

Each year, the Missouri soybean checkoff board solicits research, education and demonstration proposals. Interested principal investigators must complete the RFP application form and submit to MSMC for review each year. Requests for 2020 are due no later than November 1, 2019.

Click Here for RFP Materials

Current Research Projects

Projects currently supported by checkoff funds distributed by the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council are listed below, divided by type of research – Agronomic, Soybean Breeding, Soybean and Crop Physiology, and Feed, Food and New Uses.


 Interaction of Cover Crops and Nematicides in Relation to Soybean Cyst Nematode Population Management and Soybean Yield

Bruce Burdick, Melissa Mitchum, Tim Reinbott and Andrew Scaboo, MU

The research goal of this project is to evaluate the contribution and magnitude of cover crops and nematicides on soybean cyst nematode populations.  It will also compare the yield of several resistant and non-resistant soybean varieties within the study.  As new management tools such as iLeVo seed treatment, and more widespread cover crop use is adopted by soybean producers, there is a need to determine best management practices and measure their impact.  This study specifically measures the ability of the tested practices in the management of SCN in soybean fields.

 MU Certified Strip Trial Initiative

John Lory, Peter Scharf, Bill Wiebold, Greg Luce, Wayne Flanary and Kent Shannon, MU

This program is an integrated research, education and demonstration project helping Missouri producers validate management decisions on their own farm and document their efficiency and environmental stewardship.  Strip trials are focused and easily implemented experimental tests that farmers can perform on their fields using their own equipment or that of a commercial applicator.  The adoption of yield monitors and precision agricultural tools and strategies provides tremendous opportunity for wide-spread adoption of strip trials throughout Missouri.  Comparisons are made across soil types to determine the impact of management practices and the variability throughout the field.  The Missouri Strip Trial Program is an unbiased source of data for nutrient management, agronomic, and conservation practices.  Practices that are compared include nitrogen timing, phosphorus application comparisons, and cover crop impacts on corn and soybean yield.  Other agronomic comparisons are planned for future evaluation.

 Best Management of Soybean in a Double Crop System

William Wiebold, MU

This project uses two experiments to determine the best combination of variety maturity, seedling rate, and pest management practices for soybean in a winter wheat-soybean double crop system.  Data will be collected in soybean planted after harvested wheat. Combinations of seed treatment, fungicides, and insecticides will be used to determine best practices for pest management.

 Enhancing Soybean Production Efficiency in Northwest Missouri

Jim Crawford and Wayne Flanary, MU

The research goal is to look at various production methods and practices to help producers increase yield and reduce input costs while working to protect the environment.  The goal is help determine the most cost effective practices for a grower’s operation.

Development of a herbicide injury app for mobile devices

Kevin Bradley and Mandy Bish, MU

To assess whether visible herbicide injury will correlate to yield loss, the herbicide that injured the crop must be known.  This project aims to develop an herbicide injury app that growers will find useful when estimating yield loss due to herbicide injury.

Investigating dicamba movement and injury to soybean

Kevin Bradley and Mandy Bish, MU

The objectives of this research are 3-fold: (1) Correlate field-scale observations of dicamba injury to real-world yield losses so that producers and agrichemical industry representatives are better prepared to deal with future office-site dicamba injury issues; (2) Study the impact of dicamba formulations on temperature inversions; and (3) Initiate development of a mobile app and/or website that will send alerts to herbicide applicators when unfavorable weather conditions are present.

 Incorporating Cover Crops into Soybean Cropping Systems

William Wiebold, MU

The soybean rotation-cover crop systems study is designed to determine if soybean intensity in a rotation affects soil health parameters and yield.  Studies have shown a significant loss in yield from soybean following soybean as compared to following another crop such as corn or grain sorghum.  The yield penalty for soybean following soybean is about ten percent. This study is helping to determine if the appropriate cover crop, and appropriate management, will have a positive impact on soybean yield.  Quite simply, we will learn if cover crops can correct some of the negative impacts from soybean planted after soybean.  Another objective of this study is to determine if soybean intensity in a rotation affects soil health parameters.  This work is important to Missouri as we have a greater portion of soybean planted after soybean than other states.  Breaking the rotation by using cover crops could prove to be a very valuable benefit.

Missouri Agricultural Watershed Monitoring Project

Darrick Steen

The goal of the watershed monitoring project is to measure the effectiveness of farmer practices and document and demonstrate the grower’s continuous improvements.  Edge of field monitoring provides a way for farmers to measure the runoff leaving their fields.  Establishing reliable monitoring stations in producer owned crop fields allows farmers, collaborating partners and agencies the ability to collect and monitor water samples and hydrologic data.  The impact of the farmer’s management practices can be measured to determine their effectiveness.  Edge-of-field monitoring will provide information about the amount of runoff, soil, nutrients and if desired, crop chemicals moving off a given field into an adjacent waterway.  Assessing the water quality impacts from farmland as well as assessing the performance and effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs) in reducing nutrients and sediment are important to document and demonstrate the progress that is being made in state, national and industry stewardship goals.  Monitoring will allow producers to measure the value and benefit of their past, current and future conservation efforts.

MU Certified Strip Trial – Collaboration with ISA On-Farm Network ILeVO Test

John Lory, Bill Wiebold, Greg Luce, Peter Scharf, Wayne Flanary and Kent Shannon, MU

This is an integrated research, education, and demonstration project helping Missouri producers validate management decisions on their farm and document efficiency and environmental stewardship. In collaboration with the Iowa Soybean’s On-Farm Network, pursue these goals: (1) Provide Missouri farmers access to a trial focused on ILeVO, and (2) Gain insight into how On-Farm Network runs trials as a first step in defining opportunities for closer collaboration between the two programs.

 Soybean Breeding

 Breeding Productive Pest Resistant, Conventional and Herbicide Tolerant Group IV and V Soybeans

Pengyin Chen and Andrew Scaboo, MU

The objective of this research is to develop new soybean varieties for the Missouri Delta region and other Mid-South environments.  The specific objectives are breeding for higher yields, disease and nematode resistance and quality traits.

Breeding and Genetic Mapping for Flooding Tolerance in Soybean

Pengyin Chen, MU

The objective of this research is to develop new flood tolerant soybean varieties for the Missouri Delta region and Mid-South environments.  Breeding varieties with flood tolerance for higher yields, disease and nematode resistance and quality traits.

Evaluation of Oleic Acid Germplasm for Development of Soybeans with High Oleic Acid

Pengyin Chen and Andrew Scaboo, MU

The primary goal of this project is to develop productive group III, IV and V soybean varieties for Missouri with the high oleic and low linolenic traits.  The outcome is to deliver soybean oil with a healthier profile and provide a more functional oil for food, feed and industrial applications.  This is being accomplished using the patented, non-GMO, high oleic genes and methods discovered in Missouri by USDA and University of Missouri researchers.

North Missouri Soybean Breeding Program

Andrew Scaboo and Pengyin Chen, MU

This project involves developing new soybean varieties to be used in north Missouri maturity zones with the focus on yield and agronomic traits important for soybean farmers in north Missouri.  Variety development is focused on maturity group III and early group IV varieties.

Winter Production Project

Pengyin Chen and Andrew Scaboo, MU

The use of the winter nurseries is an essential component of a successful soybean breeding and genetic program. Costa Rica, Puerto Rica are used so that crossing can be made in off-season for Missouri and year-round.  This greatly enhances the efficiency and timeliness of the Missouri soybean breeding program.  These winter nurseries greatly support our breeding programs and are crucial in order to compete in variety performance and provide productive genetics for Missouri farmers.

Genetic Mapping of a Unique Morphological Trait in Soybean and Evaluation of the Correlations with Yield Potential and Seed Composition

Andrew Scaboo, MU, and Jason Gillman, ARS

Identify genomic regions controlling a unique branching pattern discovered in wild soybean and evaluate the yield potential and seed composition in experimental lines exhibiting this trait.  The specific trait of this project is directed towards the improvement of genetic seed yield potential.

GWAS to Genes: A system to utilize association analyses to clone genes and develop markers to improve soybean breeding for variety development

Kristin Bilyeu, ARS; Dong Xu and Trupti Joshi, MU

This research is designed to enhance bioinformatics tools and systems to enable broad and efficient identification of soybean genes that control important phenotypes.  The strategy is a proof of concept approach using a validated data set of cloned genes to test different methods for providing gene information that can immediately be used to develop soybean varieties.  The computer science team is working closely with the molecular biology team to determine the desired outcomes for modifying an existing decision tool or building a new tool.  This project is focusing on mining data to characterize genes that control plant traits and use that information to develop molecular markers to make efficient selections.

Identification and Evaluation of Domesticated Soybean Lines Derived from Wild Soybean Crosses with Increased Levels of Protein and Value-Added Amino Acids

Andrew Scaboo, MU

This project is designed for the development of high yielding domesticated soybean lines of recent wild ancestry that have increased protein and high-value amino acid seed content using conventional breeding.  Identification of the specific wild soybean genes responsible for improved seed composition of domesticated lines is also a major goal of the project.  This important research can aid in the diversity of the soybean industry and specifically improve measurable quality traits.  The unique combination of wild seed composition data, wild type genetic blueprints, and soybean breeding expertise will provide Missouri and U.S. soybean farmers improved soybean selections.

Developing high-yielding, high oleic acid, low linolenic acid soybeans varieties with additional value-added composition traits (HOLL plus)

Kristin Bilyeu, ARS; Andrew Scaboo, MU

The goal is to create competitive soybean lines with the high oleic and low linolenic traits plus additional seed composition traits that will enhance the value of the soybean to the producer, processor and the end user.

Developing value-added specialty soybeans for the soyfood market

Pengyin Chen, Andrew Scaboo, MU

The main goal of this project is to develop new and improved soybean germplasm varieties adapted to Missouri desired seed quality traits for various soyfood markets.

Breeding soybeans resistant to multiple nematode species

Pengyin Chen, Andrew Scaboo and Melissa Mitchum, MU

The primary goal of this project is to develop productive soybean varieties for Missouri with resistance to multiple nematode species. This will be accomplished using SCN, RKN, and RN resistant sources with genes that are most effective against the species prevalent in the state.  The work performed under this project will ensure the continued development of high yielding soybean cultivars with multi-nematode resistance for Missouri.

 Breeding high-yielding soybeans with functional traits

Pengyin Chen and Andrew Scaboo, MU

The primary goal of this project is to provide steady flow of new and improved soybean lines with desirable functional traits for food, feed, oil, and biodiesel production.

Utilizing Molecular Markers for Soybean Variety Development

Andrew Scaboo and Pengyin Chen, MU

The main goal of the project is to improve the efficiency and quality control of the soybean breeding program, thereby assuring the continuous release of novel soybean varieties for Missouri farmers while maximizing limited resources.

 SCN and Crop Physiology

 Using Microgenomics to Identify New Sources of Soybean Cyst Nematode Resistance in Soybean

Melissa Mitchum, MU

This project will study a new biotech approach to soybean nematode resistance.  SCN have been adapting to the current source of resistance and looking at new approaches to resistance as well as resistant sources is of utmost importance for fighting this serious pest of soybean.  The key to developing broader, more durable resistance in soybean cultivars hinges on understanding how resistance genes work on a molecular level.  Research is being done to understand how plant defense mechanisms work against SCN and exploiting the information through novel or conventional plant breeding approaches.

Improving Heat Tolerance: Identification and Characterization of Soybean Germplasm

Felix Fritschi and Arun Dhanapal, MU; Jason Gillman, ARS

The goals of this project are to: 1) Identify germplasm with increased heat tolerance by exploiting genetic variability of MG III and IV genotypes; 2) Develop a better understanding of the mechanisms that protect soybean yield from losses during episodes of high temperature stress; and 3) Initiate incorporation of heat tolerance traits into advanced soybean germplasm and development of mapping populations.

High-throughput phenotyping to accelerate soybean improvement through agronomy, breeding, and genetics

Felix Fritschi, Gary Stacey, Andrew Scaboo, Bill Wiebold, Guilherme DeSouza and Minviluz Stacey, MU

Research focus is to implement and deploy a phenotyping platform that will accelerate soybean improvement by facilitating repeated, rapid, accurate, non-destructive plant measurements. The optimized platform will be available to Missouri soybean researchers conducting experiments ranging from crop management to fundamental genetics for many years to come.

Feed, Food and New Uses

Oil Derived Epoxy Monomer for Structural Composite Applications

Thomas P. Schuman, MS&T

Project goal is to develop monomer into a marketed product and further develop applications toward broader market access.  This project is working to further develop application and begin commercialization of a unique soybean oil-derived monomer as a resin system that shows promise for structural composite applications.  The resin material is considered to be 100% bio-based.  The use of oil monomer material in structural and structural composite application and its unique properties; high strength, higher temperature application window, and improved computability and reactivity when used by itself or with commercial epoxies has been demonstrated.  This additional application data will demonstrate additional market value with the potential for Missouri farmers to move new industrial materials into the marketplace via performance and cost.

Development of High Volume Applications of High Oleic Soybeans (I) Dielectric Liquid in Transformers and Other Electric Equipment and (II) Composition and Functional Properties of Isolated Protein from High Oleic Soybean

Shubhen Kapila and Rocha Seemamahannop, MS&T; Kristin Bilyeu, ARS; and Bongkosh Vardhanabhuti, MU

The overall project goal is to demonstrate suitability of High Oleic Soybean Oil as dielectric fluids with superior long term stability, fire resistant properties and environmental compatibility in electrical transformers and similar devices.

Development of Soy Protein-Nanocellulose Composites as Food Packaging

Mengshi Lin and Azlin Mustapha, MU

This project aims to develop soy protein/nanocellulose composites containing antimicrobial and antioxidant agents. These nanocomposites can be used as food packaging materials to inhibit the growth of foodborne pathogens in foods and reduce lipid oxidation to prolong the shelf life of foods.

Sustainability Analysis

Doug Whitehead, NBB

This project will improve the lifecycle carbon reduction score for biodiesel and promote biodiesel sustainability benefits in target audiences. Results and expanded awareness will encourage use of higher biodiesel volumes by carbon-conscious consumers and make biodiesel more competitive.

Commercial Application of Soybean Hulls/Stover for Electronic Industries

Ram Gupta and Pawan Kahol, Pittsburg State University; and Karthik Ghosh, Missouri State University

Project investigators plan to utilize soybean hulls/stover for electronic applications particularly for battery and supercapacitor industry. Soybean hulls/stover will be converted to high surface area carbon for energy storage applications.

Research Educational Opportunities

Monsanto Education Center for Sustainable Solution (MECSS)

Darrin Peters, RSHS

The focus is to recruit schools and other educational groups to tour the MECSS building and partake in the agricultural and STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) activities available. Participant surveys will be conducted, and results will be used to make the MECSS an educational model that the nation can learn from.

Undergraduate Research Internships

William Wiebold, MU

Continued progress in improving soybean depends on attracting high quality students to study agriculture and related disciplines.  One goal is to foster the education of new scientists with a focus on soybean.

Regional Affiliations

 Mid-South Soybean Board (MSSB)  

Dawn Howe, MSSB

The MSMC collaborates with several southern soybean states to conduct research that impacts growers in the mid-south growing region.  The delta region has unique needs for management and traits compared to the Midwest.  The states associated with the Mid-South include Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP)

Ed Anderson, NSCRP

A project funded by the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP), the Soybean Research and Information Initiative helps make soybean research more accessible. The initiative launched in the spring of 2014 as an effort to build upon the functionality and success of the Plant Health Initiative (PHI) in developing an easy access one-stop shop for soybean research.  The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council is a member of the NCSRP and supporter of this project.

 The site features research from thirteen universities across the twelve NCSRP member states, as well as grower-focused information about soybean diseases and pests. The site also houses diagnostic tools for growers and resources on other agronomic issues. The University of Missouri is a contributor to the website, ensuring growers in the Show-Me State are well represented within the agronomic and diagnostic tools.

Perhaps one of the most beneficial features of the site is the overview of 24 of the most prolific soybean diseases throughout the region. Each summary includes the disease’s life cycle, agronomic impact and how to manage the disease. To help identify the diseases many pictures are included in addition to scouting tips and information about how to distinguish diseases that are commonly mistaken for each other. Learn more online through the NCSRP or at

Product Research

The MSMC, along with partners such as the University of Missouri-Columbia, boast one of the top production research programs in the country. See how the MSMC and USB are working to boost your yields.

See how

Soy Products Guide

Soy offers manufacturers a greener, cleaner and safer way to make everything from candles and couches to fuels and paints. This interactive guide will give you a closer look at the soy-based products available today.

Click Here

Product Research

The MSMC, along with partners such as the University of Missouri-Columbia, boast one of the top production research programs in the country. See how the MSMC and USB are working to boost your yields.

Soy Products Guide

Soy offers manufacturers a greener, cleaner and safer way to make everything from candles and couches to fuels and paints. This interactive guide will give you a closer look at the soy-based products available today. Click Here

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