Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Explore our Extension locations around the state.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Timely tips for the Arkansas home gardener.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Home to the Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
By Fred MillerU of A System Division of Agriculture@AgNews479
Download MS Word version
Download related PHOTOS from Flicker: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmGK3W8y
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Soybean breeders from southern public research institutions and
agricultural industries, meeting at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station headquarters
this week, were focusing on a question that has taken a back seat in the past: What
happens to soybeans after farmers grow them?
The annual Southern Soybean Breeders Tour meets each year at a different location,
always hosted by one of the member public breeding programs. It was hosted this year
by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture at the Don Tyson Center
for Agricultural Sciences at the Experiment Station’s Arkansas Agricultural Research
and Extension Center.
The main purpose of the annual meeting is for breeders to exchange information and
look for collaborative efforts, said Leandro Mozzoni, Division of Agriculture soybean
breeder. But this year, attendees also discussed how soybeans are used by consumers
and end-users, with an eye toward how breeding efforts might address their demands.
Traditionally, the most important considerations in soybean breeding have been such
production needs as improved yields, disease and pest resistance, drought tolerance
and bean quality, Mozzoni said.He said this meeting addressed issues of use and marketing
that soybean breeders may want to consider in their ongoing efforts.
“How can we make soybeans more than just a commodity,” Mozzoni said, “and more like
a branded product?”
Division of Agriculture soybean breeding efforts have investigated high-protein and
niche market soybeans, and developed edamame soybean varieties that helped launch
a new market for Arkansas River Valley growers. The institution’s efforts have even
supported the startup of an edamame processing plant at Mulberry.
But Mozzoni said post-production marketing has never been the aim of most soybean
Breeding for the marketplace
Going forward, breeders may want to target quality traits tailored to specific markets.
Mozzoni used the example of a cantaloupe that was bred with a unique flavor specifically
for sale by Walmart.
“We spent a lot of time during the meeting looking at ways to bridge the gap between
the needs of the farmer and the demands of consumers in a competitively grown crop,”
Mozzoni said. “Can we make a unique soybean? And then, can we sell it?”
Michael Kidd, head of the Division of Agriculture’s poultry science department and
a poultry nutrition researcher, described how soybeans are used in poultry feed and
what the industry might look for in new varieties. Poultry feed is key to poultry
production, he said, and accounts for nearly three-quarters of the industry’s production
Soybeans are an important ingredient in poultry feed, Kidd said. “We use corn and
other grains for energy,” he said, “and oil seeds — soybeans — for amino acid content.”
Finding the desirable balance of amino acids can be challenging, Kidd said, and new
products often emphasize new sources of ingredients already available.
“Give us something we don’t have,” Kidd advised the attending soybean breeders. “Don’t
give us more of what we already have.”
Tim Venverloh, vice president for sustainability strategy for the United Soybean Board,
said he attended the tour to learn more about the research being done by southern
soybean breeders, to connect names to faces and to connect more personally with the
Venverloh said the focus of this year’s meeting on marketplace demands fits with his
efforts to breakdown research proposal categories into more specific areas, including
end user needs.
“I look at the marketplace, block chain, transparency and traceability,” he said.
“I’m interested in helping markets signal better to their consumers concerning what’s
available and what we can do for them.”
Concerning breeding goals, Venverloh said it’s important to improve both the quality
of soybeans and marketing of their potential for use as alternatives for everything
from fuels to plastics. Soy films being developed by Division of Agriculture scientists
and others promise safer, better and more environmentally sustainable uses, from seed
coatings to food wraps and detergent “pods.”
“Soy is the miracle bean,” Venverloh said. “The potential for innovative products
is huge, and we have to get the word out.”
Joyce Doyle, research coordinator for the Mid-South Soybean Board, said meetings like
the Southern Soybean Breeders Tour are really about collaboration between breeders
and researchers at public research institutions in the region.
“You’d be surprised how much these people work together,” she said.
The meeting gives her an opportunity to check on research projects Mid-South is supporting,
Doyle said. “It gives me a chance to check in with the professors working on projects
and to work with them on figuring out where to go next.
“Soybean growers look to us and to public breeding programs to develop traits that
they need to grow a profitable crop,” Doyle said. “And that means helping them grow
a quality product that meets consumer demands.”
Collaboration was on most of the attendees minds during the meeting. Lisa Fritz, a
USDA Agricultural Research Service scientist, said it gives her a chance to see what
her colleagues at other institutions are doing.
“I feel sometimes like I’m isolated,” Fritz said. “This helps me break out and connect
with others in my field.”
To learn more about Division of Agriculture soybean breeding and research, visit the
Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uark.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch and Instagram at ArkAgResearch.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
Media Contact: Fred MillerU of A Division of AgricultureArkansas Agricultural Experiment Station(479) email@example.com