Breeding Soybean Cultivars
Soybeans are the world's largest source of animal protein feed and the second largest source of vegetable oil. The United States is the leading soybean producer and exporter. Development of highly resistant soybean cultivars is the most economic and effective way to control diseases in soybean. Given the destructive potential of the diseases and insects and the cost of their controls, it is crucial to accelerate the development of disease and insect resistant soybean cultivars to protect the stability of soybean yield. The general breeding strategy for UGA crop and soil scientists will be crossing elite cultivars, adapted breeding lines, and improved germplasm to combine the characteristics such as high yield, protein content, improved oil quality, resistance to soybean cyst nematode, root-knot nematode, defoliating insects, frogeye leaf spot, stem canker, and soybean rust. Southeastern and Mid-South soybean producers will be the primary beneficiaries of this research through the development of new genetic materials with higher seed yields and reduced production costs.