First place project checks soybean yield, water quality

Jacob Dennis of Pettisville High School is a big winner—first place in the Ohio Soybean Bioscience Award from the Ohio Soybean Council on State Science Day! His project compared the yield and oil and protein content of soybeans with a starter fertilizer applied at planting to soybeans.

Dennis also compared the water quality of field drainage tile discharge before and after fertilizer application. This project was part of a larger university study that is collecting data to update the Tri-state Fertilizer Recommendations. These guidelines are used in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan to determine how much fertilizer to apply to cropland in relation to better water quality.

The results did not show statistically significant differences among the plots being compared, nor was there a significant increase in nitrate or orthophosphate levels in the water quality analysis after fertilizer was applied. Dennis wins $1000 for his research project!