Soybean Research Principal Investigator Profile – Laura Lindsey

Laura Lindsey, associate professor, soybean and small grain crop production specialist, Ohio State University

Why did you decide to pursue a career that includes soybean research?
I had a part-time Extension appointment during my Ph.D. program at Michigan State University. I enjoyed doing applied field research and transferring results to farmers, so I pursued a career in university Extension.

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?
Recently, my lab has done a lot of work on soybean planting date, including “ultra-early” planting and interactions with other management practices. Soybean planting date is the number one management factor that influences soybean yield.

How has the soybean checkoff enhanced your ability to find answers to production problems for farmers?
Many of my soybean checkoff research projects are based on questions from farmers. Farmers make interesting observations and ask really good questions, so a lot of my hypotheses are based on my interactions with them. The checkoff enables me to help answer these questions in replicated field trials across the state.

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

  • Use your university’s Extension network. Newsletters, scouting guides, field days, winter meetings and bulletins are all good ways to improve your management and profitability.
  • Scout fields regularly. It’s important to see what’s going on in your fields and what is limiting yield. This includes soil testing for fertility and soybean cyst nematode, looking for insects, diseases and weeds during the growing season, and reviewing your management plan and yield data over the winter.

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?
Evaluating inputs will be important, including fungicides, insecticides, biological products and even cover crops. Is there a return on your investment for these inputs and practices?