The annual Arkansas Soybean Research Conference will be held on Dec. 7 at the Brinkley Convention Center. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and the program will run through lunch.

In the lead up to the conference, Delta Farm Press spoke with Jeremy Ross, soybean specialist with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. At the meeting, Ross is scheduled to speak on a newly released conventional soybean variety, UA-4910.

Among his comments:

How did the season turn out?

“Overall, it was average. The crop in the southern part of the state was a bit better than normal. North of I-40, though, some areas really took a hit yield-wise. So, when you balance everything out, the state’s crop was similar to what we’ve seen for the last several years.  

“The biggest thing for the last growing season was the heat. The crop planted early by-passed a lot of those high temperatures. The crop planted at the end of April/first of May was harmed by the heat.

“There were few disease problems but resistant pigweeds continued to dog our soybean fields. Insects were bad, as well – the worst in a long time. Typically, dry years mean insects will show up.

“A lot of growers were ready to get this year over with.”

On the 2011 crop…

“A lot of land preparation was done this fall because it was so dry. A lot of growers finished harvesting early and that let them keep working to get ready for 2011.

“A lot of seed has already been booked. Quality-wise, we’re hearing good things. The germ and accelerated aging numbers are holding up, according to the Arkansas Plant Board.

“The seed size, depending on the variety and where it was grown, might be smaller than in the past. Again, that’s because of the dry conditions. I got a lot of reports saying ‘we’ve got decent yields but the seed size is small.’”   

On the conference agenda…

  • “Increasing Grain Yields – Practices to Consider” with Larry Purcell

Purcell “has been working with Kip Cullers in southwest Missouri. He’s done plot work and using cultural practices to see how to increase yields. He has some interesting things to talk about.”

For more see Cullers tops own record with 160-bushel beans

  • “Weed Resistance – An Issue That Will Not Go Away” with Jason Norsworthy

Norsworthy “will talk about the weed resistant problem that keeps building up in the Mid-South.”

  • “Lime & Other Soil Amendments – Old Subject/New Approaches” with Leo Espinoza

Espinoza “has been working on fine-tuning lime recommendations. He has good information to present.”

  • “Elusive Yield Bandits – Protecting the Crop” with Cliff Coker

Coker “will give an update on diseases and what 2011 might hold.”

  • “Soybean Viruses & Other Emerging Issues” with Ioannis Tzanetakis

Tzanetakis “will talk about some of the new soybean viruses that have begun to creep around the state. He’ll talk about the new things that are affecting our soybeans.”

On post-production soybean research…

“In the past, the talks at this meeting have been on production agriculture. But the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board (which sponsors the meeting) funds more than just production studies. The board is also interested in post-harvest issues.

“Andy Proctor is looking at ways soybean oil composition can be changed to make it closer to olive oil, give it some of those characteristics. He’ll tell us about how his work in increasing the value of soybean oil.

“Don Johnson has been doing interesting work with biodiesel and its performance in engines. He’ll speak on that and also have a trailer demonstration following lunch.”

For more information, contact Ross at (501) 944-0621 or e-mail jross@uaex.edu.