Soybean Research Principal Investigator Profile – David Holshouser

David Holshouser, professor and Extension soybean agronomist, Virginia Tech

Why did you decide to pursue a career that includes soybean research?
Nearly all cropping systems in Virginia include soybeans, largely due to the crop’s flexibility with planting date and ability to yield well under all environments. The future looked very promising for soybeans and turned out to be more promising than I ever expected.

What research topic have you completed in the past or are working on now that could have or has had the most significant impact on soybean production?
Early wheat harvest improves yield and profitability of the wheat–soybean double-crop system. In addition, we have learned that deeper soil samples (12 inches) reveal potassium is more available to the soybean crop (due to leaching in low cation exchange capacity, or CEC, soils). This means potassium application rates may be reduced without soybean yield loss.

How has the soybean checkoff enhanced your ability to find answers to production problems for farmers?
Most of my applied research is supported by checkoff dollars.

Within your area of expertise, what are the top two or three general recommendations you would offer farmers to improve their management practices?

  • Build your soil resiliency.
  • Be timely with everything.
  • Learn from others.

Within your area of expertise, what do you consider to be critical soybean research needs that can impact the profitability of farmers in the future?

  • Marketing in a volatile world
  • Increasing productivity