Illinois soybean researchers adjust following funding cuts

Illinois soybean researchers are struggling to continue with their work after a board's decision to invest in areas other than research where the board believes they'll have a larger impact.

Posted: Dec 1, 2018 10:22 AM

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Illinois soybean researchers are struggling to continue with their work after a board's decision to invest in areas other than research where the board believes they'll have a larger impact.

The Illinois Soybean Association is focusing on opening new foreign markets to soybeans and advocating for infrastructure improvements, The Southern Illinoisan reported.

Soybean farmers across the country contribute 0.5 percent of their crop sales to research. The funds are split between state, regional and national soybean boards, which then distribute the funds. The Illinois Soybean Association's board, which is comprised of 24 elected farmers, allocated about $12 million last year.

The association spent 41 percent of its 2017-2018 budget on promoting Illinois soybeans, 24 percent to helping farmers adopt new technology to improve yields and sustainability, 17 percent to improving transportation efficiency and 16 percent to outreach to corporate groups and Illinois farmers.

The association believes private industry donors, chemical and seed companies and the national United Soybean Board have a larger impact on research, according to Lynn Rohrscheib, the association's chairwoman.

The funding cuts have forced researchers to seek funding elsewhere and adapt their research approach, said Jason Bond, a plant pathology professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

"Today, I'm a better researcher for it," Bond said.

Bond said his team adjusted their research project to pursue funding from the North Central Soybean Research Program and the United Soybean Board.

"You need to have research that's important to the Illinois grower, and to the wider region," Bond said. "We looked at projects that could get other universities involved, and we built teams across states. That was a result of the ISA choosing to put resources in other areas.

SIU Carbondale Professor Stella Kantartzi said she started off with about $170,000 of funding from the association, which has now completely been cut off.

"I felt that I was fully supported by ISA, and I needed that support and the yearly communication with the farmers," Kantartzi said, to continue her work. "Now, we feel pretty isolated."

Kantartzi said the decrease in communication means stakeholders don't know what researchers can do and researchers don't get as much feedback on their work.

Information from: Southern Illinoisan, http://www.southernillinoisan.com

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Article Comments

Terre Haute
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 30°
Robinson
Overcast
33° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 28°
Indianapolis
Overcast
37° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 33°
Rockville
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 30°
Casey
Overcast
29° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 29°
Brazil
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 30°
Marshall
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 30°
Rain on the way.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

In the Paint Part Three 12-13-19

Image

In the Zone Part Two 12-13-19

Image

In the Paint Part 1

Image

Friday Late Forecast

Image

Local teens make baskets and stockings to help people in need

Image

Sheriff Youth Ranch raffle

Image

Parke County kids get an inside look at how government works

Image

New store confirms it is moving into old Terre Haute Toys R' Us location

Image

Switz City trash plant plan withdrawn

Image

Urban Vs. Rural Temps

WTHI Events