Farmers spending their own dollars for soybean research at the University of Missouri will hear results July 14.

Farmers spending their own dollars for soybean research at the University of Missouri will hear results July 14.

Researchers share results with all farmers, not just those in the Missouri Soybean Association. Suppliers, agribusiness reps, educators and agency officials are welcome.

The Show-Me Soy School will be at the Bay Farm east of Columbia. Paid by soybean checkoff dollars, the MU research already pays off in seven new bean varieties. Also, researchers decipher the soybean genome. That DNA data guides variety development.

There’s more on the way, says Greg Luce, who splits time between MU Extension and soybean growers’ research.

The program is free but RSVP is needed by July 10 to get lunch and handouts.

The Bay Farm is owned by the Missouri Soybean Association. The Soybean Merchandising Council funds the research. The farm lies just south of the MU Bradford Research Center on Rangeline Road. The farm adds soybean acreage for the North Missouri Soybean breeding program.

While MU plant breeders work to boost soybean yields, farmers vie in contests for best yields per acre. Beating all nationally is Randy Dowdy, Valdosta, Ga. He grew 171 bushels per acre last year. That beat 160 bushels by previous champ Kip Cullers, Purdy, Mo.

The national average soybean yield last year was 48.9 bushels per acre.

While learning Dowdy’s methods, attendees may pick up farming tips. They might gain bragging rights at local farmers’ coffee clubs.

The hottest news may be ways to protect the soybean from herbicide drift. That caused costly losses in the South last year. Now the threat spreads north across Missouri.

An app is being developed to help identify drift damage. Research was already underway on Dicamba drift before the highly volatile herbicide appeared last year. Rules of use are known.

Already, a soybean variety with high-oleic oil has been found. This non-GMO bean can make soy oil competitive with olive oil in cooking.

Studies start with basic research that can be turned into farmer-friendly uses. That includes the patent on soybean breeding method already in use.

Studies of the spread of the soybean cyst nematode will be told. To control the pest, it must be identified in the fields. Testing will be explained.

New nematode-resistant varieties are being sought.

Farmers seeking to save the soil for future generations are aided by cover crops. New trial results will be told.

Cooperation between soybean growers and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources is old, but the Soy School is new. It is expected to continue as results increase.

The soybean, Missouri’s top crop in acres and income, returned a farm value of $2.6 billion in 2016. The 5.5 million acres of soybeans tops the total of all other crops in the state, Luce says.

A free signup for Soy School is on the web at mosoy.org/fieldday. Or call Greg Luce at 573-635-3819. That gets the free lunch at the daylong event.

Bay Farm is at 5601 Rangeline Road, Columbia. The program starts at 8:45 a.m. with coffee and donuts. Welcome follows at 9:15 a.m. Dowdy speaks after lunch at 12:30 p.m.

A land-grant university does farm research and extends results to farmers. Commodity groups help.