Soybean Research Principal Investigator Profile – Michael Maw

Michael Maw, Assistant Professor of Agronomy, School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

Why did you decide to pursue a career that includes soybean research?
I have a background in crop physiology and soybean production in Georgia, and I earned my masters and doctorate degrees at Mizzou. When I returned to Georgia to teach, my dad was struggling to find soybean varieties for ultra-late planting, so I had a personal interest in finding answers. During fall semesters, I teach a crop production class. Planting and researching ultra-late soybean production provides excellent educational opportunities for my students in those classes and undergraduates interested in applied research.

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?
My research projects allow me to mentor future researchers and crop production company employees, providing applied ag research experience at the undergraduate level. This experience better prepares them to serve farmers throughout their careers.

How has the soybean checkoff enhanced your ability to find answers to production problems for farmers?
The soy checkoff provides funding for undergraduate student research and supplements needs at our teaching farm to offset research project costs. These funds are essential for me to conduct applied soybean research.

Within your area of expertise, what are the top two or three general recommendations you would offer farmers to improve their management practices?
Farmers should embrace a cultural shift to see soybeans as a valuable crop that can provide profit if managed well. Many farmers plant soybeans on their least productive ground and do minimal crop management throughout the season. Instead, they should treat soybeans like a crop that can make a profit — because they can.

Within your area of expertise, what do you consider to be critical soybean research needs that can impact the profitability of famers in the future?
I believe we need continued investment and research in variety development for Southern soybeans. With current breeding trends, we are losing good determinate varieties that fit this region.  

SRIN articles:

Long Juvenile Genetics Offer Potential Solution for Ultra-Late Soybeans