Soybean Genetics – Bill Schapaugh

(Male) Hello. This is Bill Schapaugh. I’m with Kansas State University. Here’s an update on our Kansas Soybean Commission for our work that we completed last year. We were funded last year to work on several different areas. One of them was soybean variety development. We continued to try to develop new germ plasmas, new varieties, superior varieties for a number of different characteristics and traits, focusing primarily though on yield performance and the soybean cyst nematode resistance. In 2013, we actually completed the development of a new soybean variety. It was a group for, as a conventional variety, resistant to soybean cyst nematode resistance and that variety then was licensed to seed producers, one producer in Kansas and one producer in Iowa, to produce seed of the variety to sell to farmers for production. We also, since that variety was performing very well in the last couple of years, we’ve been converting that variety so that it would also be resistant to glyphosate or Round Up and, so, that is in the process. We actually have a seed increase of the variety that’s glyphosate resistant in Puerto Rico currently. Another big area that we’ve been working on actually the last several years has been trying to utilize
remote sensing to improve the efficiency of soybean breeding and what we’re doing is we’re capturing reflective stand from the soybean canopy during the growing season primarily during the reproductive period, so middle of July to the middle of August timeframe. We go out and with a variety of instruments, some of them are ground driven on highboy, some of the instruments are just hand carried around the plots. We do capture some of the data with some of the small aerial drones and we’re trying to see if we can take this reflective data and predict performance, predict performance sufficiently so that that would greatly increase the efficiency of a plant breed program and we’ve had some very exciting results of that over the last several years and we’re looking forward to building upon that. Well the Kansas Soybean Association is a vital supporter of our work. They have been for really many, many years. I’ve been here over thirty years and the Kansas Soybean Commission has always been involved some way or another in terms of support of the activities. The funding that we get from the Kansas Soybean Association, much of it is devoted to salaries. Many of those salaries are grad students, so the grad students are conducting this research, working on these projects and then when they get done, they go into the workforce and many of them go into work for private companies, private seed companies and continue to work on plant breeding development in soybeans or corn or wheat and contribute to the industry. It’s very important for us to get support from the farmers and just giving illustration, many of our plots are on K-State experiment research farms or experimental farms, but we also have plots on farmer’s fields and these farmers are members of the Soybean Association. They know about the Check Off. They support the Check Off and having support from them knowing what we’re doing and how we’re contributing to the industry is extremely important.

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