Arkansas soybean breeder honored
Pengyin Chen, professor of crop, soil and environmental sciences and soybean breeder for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy. The award will be formally presented at the ASA Awards Ceremony Nov. 5 during the scientific society’s annual meeting in Tampa, Fla.
Chen has implemented one of the nation’s top soybean breeding programs as part of a comprehensive research program encompassing soybean cultivar breeding, germplasm enhancement and molecular marker development. During the past decade he has released 12 new soybean cultivars and eight germplasm lines.
He has also developed and identified edamame types and provided the basis for a new industry for the state. This program included the 2012 release of “UA Kirksey,” the first edamame vegetable soybean variety developed in the United States and licensed for commercial production.
Chen has remained a prolific writer amid his research, publishing seven book chapters and 135 refereed journal articles while receiving grants totaling $6.2 million in research funding.
ASA has been selecting outstanding members as Fellows since 1924. Members of the society nominate worthy colleagues based on their professional achievements and meritorious service. Only 0.3 percent of the society’s active and emeritus members may be elected Fellow.
Redesigned grain drills introduced
Seed placement has become even more precise and accurate in the redesigned 5000 Series Grain Drills from Landoll. As the only grain drill in the industry with “All-Purpose Air Spring Opener Suspension,” the modified 5000 Series models now include a new fluted seed metering system for better seed singulation and improved population control.
“We’ve gone to an externally fluted seed meter and, at the same time, literally doubled the number of flutes on each metering wheel,” explains Alan Gengler, Landoll product engineer for tillage and seeding equipment. “The seed meter opening is also wider, which allows the producer to control seed population through both opening size and speed.
“The other benefit is that this new meter gives producers a wider range of seed sizes and the ability to accurately seed higher plant populations,” he adds. “It offers improved performance with small seeds like alfalfa, while also doing a better job with large seeds like soybeans and sunflowers.”
The redesigned 5000 Series grain drills also feature a new Loup Monitor as standard equipment for in-cab monitoring of seed population, seed sensors and hopper levels.
Available in 10’ rigid through 40’ folding models, the redesigned Landoll grain drills also feature a myriad of small improvements, including new LED lights as standard equipment; new lid handles and lid cylinder brackets; a heavier transport lock bracket; larger wheel spindles and larger radial transport tires; rubber seals between the lid hinge and box, and lock valves on the hitch and opener cylinders for added safety and convenience.
“All seed boxes now feature a ‘V’ bottom as well, which means there are no seed tents to interfere with clean-out,” Gengler adds. “Still, the best feature of the 5000 Series grain drills is Landoll’s unique pneumatic down-pressure spring that provides 120 to 400 pounds of down pressure on the 15.8- inch diameter opener blades. The two-position mounting even allows for heavier down pressure on the staggered units that follow the tractor wheel tracks.”
For more information, call (785) 738-6613 or visit www.landoll.com.
App identifies problems in the field
The LSU AgCenter has developed an app that will allow soybean farmers to identify weed, insect and disease problems in their fields by just grabbing their smartphones. Known as the Soybean Field Guide, the mobile app can be accessed on a smartphone, such as an iPhone or an Android, or on an electronic tablet, such as an iPad. The app can also be viewed on a laptop or desktop computer.
“It’s a one-stop shop,” says Jim Griffin, AgCenter weed scientist and the principal author of the weed information. “This app helps farmers identify the weed, insect or disease that’s causing problems.”
Once the problem is identified, then the app includes links to the AgCenter’s three control guides – the Soybean Weed Control Guide, Control Soybean Insect Pests and Soybean Plant Disease Management Guide.
The app contains nearly 200 photos of weeds, insects and disease symptoms – some that can be viewed at different stages and at several angles. The app also includes information about when and how to scout for these problems.
“This is the first of its type aimed at Southern field crops,” says Rogers Leonard, AgCenter associate vice chancellor. “There is not another one like this in the South and maybe in the rest of the country. We believe our soybean farmers will find this app extremely valuable.”
The Soybean Field Guide app, which is free, is a website than can be viewed at http://soybean.lsuagcenter.com. If viewing on a smartphone or mobile device, the app will automatically provide a way to add a shortcut icon to the device screen or a bookmark for ease of viewing at any time. If people have any problems with the app, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org, said Fred Piazza, the LSU AgCenter’s chief information officer.
“We’ve thoroughly tested this app,” Piazza says. “But we are anxious for feedback because we will continue producing educational apps. This is the way people want information now.”
“The beauty of this app is that it will be continually updated, and these updates will happen automatically,” says Frankie Gould, the AgCenter’s communication director.
Info on soybean patent expiration
The last U.S. patent covering the original Roundup Ready soybean trait expires in 2015. As U.S. farmers begin thinking about purchasing their soybean seed for 2014 planting, they have a new resource to answer their questions about the expiration of Monsanto’s original Roundup Ready soybean trait – soybeans.com.
“Even though the original Roundup Ready soybean trait is covered by a patent in the United States until the start of the 2015 planting season, we’re already getting questions from farmers about what they can and cannot do with Roundup Ready soybeans,” says Monsanto’s U.S. Oilseeds Product Management Lead Norm Sissons.
“Soybeans.com can help answer questions growers may have about patents as they pertain to planting and saving original Roundup Ready varieties, as well as the benefits of new seed,” he adds. “The website is a great resource for farmers as they plan for next year.”