A number of research and education projects designed to provide reliable data to soybean growers, expand markets for soybeans and educate the public have been awarded checkoff grants by the Pennsylvania Soybean Promotion Board. In addition, the Board also awarded grants for research benefiting animal agriculture, the largest domestic user of soymeal and the largest sector of Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry.

The all-farmer board, which administers the national soybean checkoff program in the commonwealth, awarded grants totaling $110,108 in a day-long meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Funding was approved for the following projects:

Crop research
• $7,240 to Dr. William Curran, a professor of weed science at Penn State, to research common pokeweed management in field crops.

• A total of $29,250 to Penn State Extension regional offices for soybean crop tours and Crop Conference educational meetings to disseminate research findings on soybean production and management. The regional Crop Conferences, which are held at locations throughout the state, directly reach Pennsylvania growers to address issues related to crop management, pests, soil fertility, planting and harvesting.


• $1,000 in support of Discovery Day at Penn State Extension’s Southeast Agricultural Research & Extension Center Research Farm in Landisville, Pennsylvania. Discovery Day provides a first-hand opportunity to see research projects that help drive Pennsylvania’s agriculture.

• $5,000 to the PA Animal Coalition in support of “Today's Agriculture Display”, a display designed to showcase modern agricultural practices to visitors of the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show.

• $4,618 for a SEAREC Buffer Project, a 1.5 acre forested riparian buffer area for educational and study purposes at Penn State’s Southeast Agricultural Research & Extension Center (SEAREC) in Landisville, Pennsylvania. A riparian forest buffer is a streamside forest composed of native trees, shrubs and plants that can make a major impact on improving water quality and stream health.

Research in support of Pa’s agriculture industry
• $10,000 to Dr. Tom Parsons, University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton School of Veterinary Medicine, for research into innovative swine production husbandry systems designed to promote the sustainability of the swine industry by meeting the changing demands of society.

• $10,000 to Dr. Tom Parsons, University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton School of Veterinary Medicine, for research into a control program for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), potentially the most economically devastating disease faced by swine producers.

• $18,000 to The Center for Dairy Excellence to develop a tool for farms to evaluate and document animal welfare and herd health standard operating procedures. This project will complement existing animal well-being programs currently being adopted by dairy organizations across the state.

Expanded markets for soybeans
$15,000 to U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) for a feasibility study of the potential for Pennsylvania soybeans in niche export markets via bulk vessel shipping off the East Coast and in bulk containers.

• $10,000 to the National Biodiesel Board for state-focused proactive education and outreach. A number of states, including Pennsylvania, have adopted requirements for Bioheat, a mixture of biodiesel and conventional diesel fuel that is used to heat commercial buildings and homes. Educational liaisons will ensure that staffs of state regulatory agencies and professional environmental organizations have access to technically accurate information, helping facilitate fact-based decision making. PD

—From Pennsylvania Soybean Promotion Board news release