Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board Gives Farmers the Research Results They Need
After a year like 2012, it's more important than ever to help soybean farmers continue to meet their customers' needs for food, feed, fiber and fuel. The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board (ASPB) invests the majority of its funding in projects that help the Arkansas soybean crop stand up to drought, insects, diseases and other stresses.
Arkansas soybean farmers responded to the worst drought the United States has seen in decades in a big way, harvesting a record-setting soybean crop. ASPB chairman Shannon Davis says a year like 2012 reinforces the need for soybean research.
"Every year, ASPB funds numerous research projects that help farmers in Arkansas meet customer needs," says Davis, who farms in Bono, Arkansas. "As farmers, we know how important it is to continue to have new research results available that we can use on our operations."
ASPB invested more than $3 million in production research in 2012. Most of the projects focused on improving yield and quality, through better tolerance to plant diseases, insect resistance and drought tolerance.
Last year's soybean crop in the Natural State outperformed the national average. Arkansas farmers harvested 120,000 fewer acres of soybeans in 2012 than they did in 2011. However, total production increased by 9 million bushels to 136 million bushels in 2012. The state yield average set a record with 43 bushels per acre, which was higher than the national average of 39.3.
A Multi-Tiered Approach
Soybean checkoff-funded production research occurs at state, regional and national levels. To increase efficiency, the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board funds projects that bring the research community together. Research coordination leverages checkoff investments and provides opportunities to establish research projects and priorities across the entire soybean industry.