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2020 Michigan soybean on-farm research report is available

EAST LANSING, MI. – Soybean producers and agribusiness representatives can download the results from 13 different on-farm research projects conducted by MSU Extension and the Michigan Soybean Checkoff.

The 2020 Michigan Soybean On-farm Research Report is now available online. The report was mailed to 11,000 Michigan soybean producers in early January, but the online version is the best way for agribusiness managers, sales representatives and agronomists to access the report, as it will be mailed to only Michigan soybean producers.

The report summarizes the results from 13 different soybean projects conducted by Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Soybean Checkoff evaluating products and management practices having the potential to increase soybean yields and income. Many of the projects were conducted at multiple sites in 2020 and some were conducted over multiple years. Fifty-four soybean producers conducted 70 individual on-farm trials in 2020. The trials fall within four categories: 1) plant nutrition, 2) pest management, 3) seed treatments and 4) crop management.

All treatments were replicated at least four times in nearly all the trials to reduce the effect of field variability on the results. Proven statistical methods were used to determine if the treatments had a statistically significant effect on soybean yields. Finally, the effect that the treatments had on income was determined for each project.  

One of the comments heard most often about past Michigan Soybean On-Farm Research Reports is there is little or no difference in the yields produced by the treatments and the untreated control in some of the trials (no magic bullet was found). This is the case for some of the products evaluated in 2020. However, this is still valuable information as there are two ways to increase income: increasing yields and reducing costs. If the new treatment does not perform significantly better than the untreated control when evaluated across multiple locations and over several years, producers may be able to save money and increase income by not using the product or management practice.  

The research report was a team effort. However, please contact Mike Staton if you have any questions or comments regarding the report. You can reach him by phone at 269-355-3376 or by email at