Soybean Research: Online & Searchable
By Brandelyn Twellman
Soybean gall midge, a newer soybean pest originally found in Nebraska, has entered northwest Missouri. Previously, farmers in the area would have to spend days searching for relevant research to create prevention plans for their operations. Today, they can visit one website that makes accessing, understanding and applying soybean research on the farm easier than ever.
“To promote checkoff-funded production research, the United Soybean Board (USB) has partnered with the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) to create the Soybean Research & Information Network (SRIN),” said Cate Newberg, USB/NCSRP program manager leading the effort. “The site is dynamic, easy to consume and offers farmers one place with past and present checkoff-funded research projects.”
Greg Luce, director of research for the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, said the site has become a resource for soybean research information.
“It provides a tremendous amount of information geared toward
farmers about soybean research and management of all kinds,” he said.
“The network is particularly strong in agronomic information, including crop management, cover crops, weed management, soybean diseases, soybean insect pests, growing markets and more.”
Luce said SRIN is a one-stop shop for farmers. In addition to sharing soybean research, farmers can find direct links to the National Soybean Checkoff Research Database, NCSRP, USB and Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs) actively participating in research, like the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (MSMC).
“We work closely as a participant and sponsor in NCSRP, and we work very closely with USB, and they both have excellent resources that are linked on the SRIN site,” Luce said. “Many projects that come from Missouri and with Missouri funding are featured there – including projects we’ve worked closely on with partners at the University of Missouri. We feel it’s a network that should be well known amongst the soybean farming community, and this is a way to make that happen.”
Research At Your Fingertips
Newberg said the SRIN site was developed to be the communications arm of the National Soybean Checkoff Research Database – www. soybeanresearchdata.com – a database that has been built up during the past several years and serves as a deeper dive into research. The site contains state and national research funded by various checkoff programs. It is accessible by all soybean organization staff, farmers, university and company researchers, agronomists and others interested in study results.
“The research database is essentially a warehouse of all the production research nationwide dating back to 2008,” said Newberg. “There is a lot of data for researchers to compare and contrast, see what has been done on various topics and find collaboration. It’s highly technical.”
Complementing the database with the new SRIN site provides the opportunity to present research in a digestible fashion. Newberg said users can mine the site for projects of interest by entering their state and/or subject area. The research articles on the SRIN site also link back to original research in the database, as well as to related research from other states and regions.
Luce said the database could act as a tailored search engine for those looking into soybean research.
“This is a site our farmers should know about,” he said. “A lot of times, people will Google® search a particular topic around research, and that can be good, but it can also be hit or miss. If farmers use SRIN, they have that hub of agronomic information they can rely on. The information is well documented, it’s researched and it’s high-quality information. Farmers can really rely on the network for background research and finding more detailed information.”
He added the benefits of SRIN reach beyond soybean farmers.
“It’s a resource that can be used by anyone looking for more research information,” Luce said. “For researchers, I think it helps us to prioritize. One of the things we know with a biological product like soybeans is that things change, for example, a new pest like gall midge. SRIN is a great place to go for current and new information. The network is nothing but growing, so more research will be added, and it will become a more sophisticated and broader web into the future.”
Newberg is also sharing some of the research found through the SRIN site on social media and other outlets.
“We promote articles so we can get real-world management ideas out there that impact farmer production and conservation efforts. It is research knowledge and information sharing that will help advance the soybean industry,” she said.
“Between the research on the SRIN site and the articles it shares, that network is taking soybean farmers outside of their own state,” Luce said. “It broadens the scope of soybean research and creates the missing link among all soybean research resources.”
Visit soybeanresearchinfo.com to learn more about SRIN and checkoff-supported soybean research.
The Illinios Soybean Association contributed to this article. Find the entire August issue here.