Research from endowed chair position to benefit soybean growers

Northwest Indiana Farmer Denise Scarborough says a position designed to advance critical soybean research will benefit farmers.

“As a producer, what we’re looking for is better yields, better productivity, and a better return on our farm,” she says. “It all starts at the research space of what we can do to get the best yields into those seeds to go into our ground.”

Purdue Agronomy Professor Jianxin Ma is the first Indiana Soybean Alliance Endowed Chair in Soybean Improvement. Research supported by ISA will include creation of the genome-editing pipeline and utilization of phenotyping.  

Scarborough, chair of Indiana Soybean Alliance’s Sustainability and Value Creation Committee, says research from Dr. Ma could help soybean growers across the nation.

“We are looking at the future of soybeans and the future of agriculture for not only Indiana farmers, but all farmers within the United States because we’re able to select someone that has been outstanding in their field,” she says. “Dr. Ma has made vast improvements in the genetics in his research, and we see him as someone who has long-term performance on having better genetics into the future for soybeans.”

She says farmers are looking for better genetics.  

“We want to be able to mitigate weed pressure on our farm and drought and floods,” she says. “Anything we can do to have the best genetics going into the ground that will give us the best production and highest yields at the end.”

Soybean checkoff funds make the new position possible.

“It’s a big responsibility serving on the board of directors and making sure that we’re using checkoff funds appropriately and finding good uses for those,” she says.

ISA is led by an elected farmer board that directs effective and efficient investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 20,000 Indiana soybean farmers.

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