LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Dec. 2, 2019) - As part of its mission, the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board supports the agriculture industry and the educational development of students through research grant funding. Using Checkoff funds, the ASPB has built a relationship with the University of Arkansas to address the environmental and biological challenges that producers face in a timely and efficient manner. To highlight the role research plays in the ag industry, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Soil Fertility Extension Specialist Trent Roberts recently elaborated on the relationship between the university and the ASPB.
"The relationship between the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board is a strong and invaluable one," Roberts said. "The types of research we're able to do with the soybean Checkoff funds are very specific, grower oriented and allows us to quickly address state-level problems which you typically wouldn't be able to do with your traditional funding sources."
For example, one of the Checkoff-funded projects Roberts is most excited about is his research on the implementation of cover crops into soybean production systems. He explains that while most people would view the benefit of cover crops as increased yield, the reality is that the incorporation of cover crops don't actually generate additional income. Instead, they work to improve profitability through savings.
"By implementing cover crops, you maintain production, but reduce input costs. The money you save on reducing tillage more than pays for the cover crop," Roberts explains, remarking how important that is given the current economic climate. "It's about maximizing productivity and profitability."
With the help of the ASPB, Roberts says the UofA Extension will continue to look toward the future, concentrating on agronomic research as well as its breeding program to bring high-yielding and competitive varieties to the market. In addition, he says significant investments continue to be made in the development of students and their careers.
"There are so many opportunities from very basic scientific stuff like genetics, all the way through real world crop consulting boots on the ground, helping producers make decisions," he said. "We give our graduate and undergraduate students the ability to see those problems first-hand and train them on how to diagnose and correct them. I think that's a very unique opportunity that's made possible through our relationship with the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board."
Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board (ASPB)
invites all Arkansans to visit its website for exclusive content. There, visitors to the website can find recipes, learn about the many careers in agriculture, listen to podcasts on the latest research and meet the leaders who serve on the ASPB. Also, be sure to watch the Arkansas Soybean Brand Documentary, a short, two-and-a-half minu
ffering a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to sustain this valuable industry.
Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board
The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board consists of soybean producers appointed by the Governor and nominated by various producer organizations within Arkansas. Although board members contribute many hours of their time to administering the program, they serve without pay.