September 24, 2017

Dow and Purdue Make Breakthrough In Preventing Phytophthera Root Rot In Soybeans

A research breakthrough by Purdue University and Dow Agrosciences could add millions to the bottom line of North and South Dakota farmers.  A collaborative effort between the two has unearthed a novel soybean gene that provides resistance to Phytophthera Root Rot, one of the most devastating and costly diseases affecting soybean producers.  The disease has become especially common in the southern parts of the Red River Valley, preferring to habitate in heavy, compacted clay soils.  The fungus further thrives in wet years with flooding conditions, something that’s not uncommon in the major soybean growing areas of the Northern Plains.

The research team screened a wide variety of soybean genetic material using a number of approaches. The research team pinpointed a gene called Rps11 that confers strong resistance to multiple types of Phytophthora sojae, a soil-borne pathogen that causes both soybean stem and root rot.

With this discovery, molecular markers can be developed to rapidly incorporate the resistance gene through traditional breeding techniques into elite soybean varieties to help protect farmers’ soybean yields against stem and root rot. Dow AgroSciences intends to make the technology broadly available to soybean farmers.

The findings were to be highlighted at the World Soybean Research Conference in Savannah, Ga., but the meeting was canceled due to Hurricane Irma. Research papers and talks are expected to be released soon.

Purdue’s Jianxin Ma, professor of agronomy, said that as more Rps resistance genes are identified, they might be stacked to enhance the strength and endurance of soybean resistance to the pathogen.

“Discovering technology to help soybean farmers tackle tough problems is at the core of this project, and our success in collaborating with Purdue on this project illustrates the power of public/private efforts to advance agriculture,” says Oswald Crasta, Global Genomic Breeding Lead, Dow AgroSciences.

The joint research has allowed Purdue to touch on strategic goals that include addressing major national and global agricultural challenges and offering cutting-edge research experience to students.

“The collaboration between Purdue and Dow AgroSciences through projects like this has created a win-win situation that enhances our capabilities to address the grand challenges that face the real world,” Ma said. “This project not only provides funding to support our graduate students, but also offers them unique opportunities to interact directly with our industrial collaborators. Such an experience would strengthen their research and social skills to solve significant global problems.”


Farmers Business Network Brings A Unique Approach To Helping Farmers Thrive

Bringing together the Midwest and Silicon Valley isn’t a new concept in Agriculture, but relative new comer Farmer’s Business Network is putting a fresh spin on farmer data.  The company, based out of both San Carlos, California and Sioux Falls, SD is based on the premise of increasing market intelligence.  Jesse Cook is a regional manager based in North Dakota:


Contrary to may agricultural data companies, Farmers Business Network didn’t start in a room full of technology experts.  Instead, it began with a group of farmers trying to help each other out:


While the current version has expanded considerably, Cook says the objective hasn’t changed:


Many of these things sound like issues farmers typically deal with in the winter, when field work comes to a halt, but Cook says now is actually the best time to get signed up:


For more information on FBN events or how you can get involved, visit their website or call 800-200-FARM.




Marketing Opportunities Can Make All The Difference In Tight Years Says Bremer Bank

Its no surprise that farmers throughout the US are struggling this year.  Low prices and often less than ideal weather, especially in the Dakotas, are causing heartburn among producers, and their bankers.  Ryan Zerfas is an Ag Banker with Bremer Bank out of Lisbon, ND.  He says they’re encouraging producers to take advantage of every selling opportunity:

Ryan Zerfas 1

Bremer is offering a multitude of programs, designed to fit every producer need:

Ryan Zerfas 2

Farmers interested in learning more can visit Bremer Bank’s website:

Ryan Zerfas 3