The Louisiana Soybean and Grain Research and Promotion Board has given the LSU AgCenter $1.75 million to finance 62 research and outreach projects this year.
The funds come from a commodity checkoff program, which collects a percentage of farmers' proceeds from sales of soybeans, corn, wheat and grain sorghum.
AgCenter Associate Vice President for Plants, Soils and Water Resources Rogers Leonard says the agency is grateful farmers see enough value in the scientists' work to support their research.
The projects, which include 21 new studies and 41 that are continuing from previous years, cover all aspects of agricultural production and focus on helping farmers make better management decisions.
Among them, Leonard said, are two projects that board members requested: using winter cover crops in conservation programs and the effects of irrigation on phosphorous and potassium in grain crop production.
Other topics addressed in this year's projects include managing the sugarcane aphid in grain sorghum, irrigation system efficiency and water quality, herbicide-resistant weed management, optimizing fertilizer usage, managing diseases in soybeans and corn, and managing feral hog populations. The board is also funding a number of extension on-farm demonstrations, including trials of recommended hybrids and varieties.
"All of these projects have the goal of increasing profits at the farm gate, either by reducing production input costs or improving yield and quality of the crop," Leonard said. "We're very fortunate that the board is funding us at this level in spite of lower yields, prices and acreage for many of these crops in 2015."