URBANA, Ill. – In January, the University of Illinois leader of a multi-state soybean research project put out a call to farmers to help gather data for the project. Few participants have signed on, so he is putting the call out again.
“We only need two or three producers in each soybean-growing county in Illinois to get the job done,” says U of I crop sciences professor Emerson Nafziger.
Nafziger and his team are asking producers to provide information for up to four soybean fields on a simple form (one per crop year, 2014 to 2016), located at http://go.illinois.edu/soy-survey. The form requests about 20 pieces of information for each field, including field location, planting date, variety, and seeding rate. Most farmers will be able to record information for a field in 10 or 15 minutes.
To provide an incentive, anyone who fills out information forms and returns a gift card request form along with the information sheets will receive a $50 gift card.
“This project can be described as a search to find what we should work on next with regard to soybean research. The goal is to have thousands of fields in a large database, then to see how soil, weather, and management interact to produce yield,” Nafziger explains.
Nafziger encourages FFA and college students to participate, giving them experience with scientific studies and a reward for their efforts.
“The more fields we’re able to get information on, the more useful this effort will be,” Nafziger explains. “As the largest and best state for soybean production, we are hoping to produce the largest and best set of information of all states involved in this effort.”
Farmers who want to participate can fill out the form posted at the link given above, or can contact Nafziger at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to have forms sent by email. The project is also described on the Bulletin.