On the eve of the annual Wisconsin Corn·Soy Expo, the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board (WSMB) convened Wednesday at the Kalahari Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells to update its strategic plan and review and approve checkoff-supported research projects for 2024.
WSMB President Patrick Mullooly led the meeting alongside the seven-director board. In total, WSMB approved at least 15 projects for checkoff funding for 2024 to address agronomic and production priorities for the state’s nearly 11,000 soybean growers.
“We love having access to research, and funding research is a big part of our budget,” Mullooly said, “We have to give these projects some special time and thought. We’re a big state and our growers have different concerns, so we have a lot of factors to consider and discuss.”
Many of the checkoff-sponsored projects continue to fund long-term studies. Approved proposals included:
• Integrated soybean production systems
• Overcoming herbicide resistance
• White mold management
• Soybean Cyst Nematode testing
• Pest management
The board also voted to continue supporting the annual Yield Contest, which was revamped and streamlined in 2023 to include measuring wheel and Global Positioning System (GPS) as methods for determining harvest area. This upcoming growing season will mark the 15th year of the Yield Contest, which is overseen by the Wisconsin Soybean Program and University of Wisconsin—Madison agronomist Dr. Shawn P. Conley.
WSMB also voted to sponsor several new projects for fiscal year 2024 on research related to no-till soybeans into rye cover crop; planting sequence; biological nitrogen fixation; and more.
The organization also elected to support a checkoff-funded project that’s using soybean meal/flour to create biobased firefighting foam. Wisconsin’s soy checkoff has been in use since the early 1980s. Thanks to soy checkoff investments across the nation, for each dollar Wisconsin soybean farmers contribute to the program, growers earn $12.34 in return value through advancements in genetics, building new markets and creating value-added products. In the months ahead, WSMB is hopeful a new soybean crush plant in Evansville will gain final approval.
“There are a lot of exciting developments happening with our soy checkoff and industry,” Mullooly said. “It’s an exciting time for us here in Wisconsin.”
The board will meet again in June.