Increasing Soybean Productivity while Improving Soil Quality and Mitigating Climate Change
Soybeans are in high demand around the world. This is a great market opportunity for American producers but it is also a challenge. How do we grow more soybeans without harming our soil and environmental quality and reducing future food production? How do we grow soybeans sustainably on marginal land better suited to grass?
We are researching management systems that include no-tillage, multi-purpose cover crops and gypsum soil amendment for higher soybean yields. These soybean production systems are expected to increase soybean yields even when soybeans are grown on marginal lands or under intensified growing conditions. These methods maintain sustainable environmental practices that enhance overall “ecosystem services” by reducing soil erosion and greenhouse gas emissions and by improving soil and water quality.
This project is supported by the United Soybean Board to help improve the environmental footprint of the entire U.S. soybean industry, including raising awareness among farmers on why sustainability is important. The project began in October 2011. The project ended with the 2016 crop. Soil analysis from all four sites will be done in early 2017.
Tara VanToai, Project Leader (recently retired from USDA-ARS)
Norman Fausey, USDA-ARS, Columbus, Ohio
Warren Dick, Rafiq Islam, Marvin Batte and Randall Reeder, Ohio State University
Dexter Watts, USDA-ARS, Auburn, Alabama
Dennis Flanagan and Javier Gonzalez, USDA-ARS, West Lafayette, Indiana