Soy checkoff research yields smartphone app

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Ever wonder whether it’s worth it to apply a fungicide? How about the most cost-effective seeding rate? The national soy checkoff has put that information in the palm of your hand.

A new app developed by the United Soybean Board (USB) includes two calculators that help farmers plan for their next crop. One helps users determine whether the yield benefits of various input combinations justify the costs. The other uses the main maturity rates for a farmer’s region, the cost of soybean seed and an estimated price of the soybeans at the time of sale to determine an optimal seeding rate based on a percentage of return.

The app also includes documents and videos that describe the research behind each tool.

“This is a really easy way for farmers to get an idea about seeding rates for soybeans based on both the cost of the seed and the price of the harvested grain,” says Seth Naeve, lead investigator and associate professor of agronomy and plant genetics, University of Minnesota. “It’s a way for them to utilize that information together to provide them with a numerical suggestion for seeding rates.”

The Extreme Beans app is available for Apple iPhone and Android-enabled smartphones and other devices. Farmers can easily find it in their device’s app store by simply searching by the title.

The Extreme Beans app is a result of the soy checkoff-funded “Maximum Yield Through Inputs” study, which compared the yields from plots where various inputs were applied to plots without additional inputs. Researchers threw “everything but the kitchen sink” at the soybeans, Naeve says.

“The checkoff is continually looking for ways to give farmers tools to improve production and increase the value of their soybeans,” says Jim Schriver, chair of USB’s production committee and soybean farmer from Bluffton, Ind. “When we see opportunities to help add value to the product, not only in terms of production but also quality, we want to help it come to market, and one of the best ways to do that is through a tool.”

An insert in the August issue of Corn & Soybean Digest included summary results from the extensive study. Request a copy of the insert.


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