Plant Sciences


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Soybean Breeding

Helms headshot
Ted Helms, Soybean Breeder
Office: Loftsgard Hall 374B
Phone: (701) 231-8136

Soybean Field

The soybean breeding program at North Dakota State University develops cultivars that are tolerant to the abiotic and biotic stress factors that occur in North Dakota.  The breeding program identifies experimental lines for release that: 1) have major gene phytophthora root rot resistance; 2) have iron-deficiency chlorosis (IDC) tolerance; 3) have lodging resistance; 4) are of suitable maturity; and 5) have high yield in North Dakota conditions.

The choice of which cultivar to grow is an important decision.  The NDSU Soybean Breeding and Production Research Project tests both public and privately developed cultivars, which provides growers with an unbiased source of information.  Growers can increase soybean production and profitability by identifying those cultivars tolerant to the biotic and abiotic stress factors on their farm.  Production experiments are necessary to enhance the decision-making process of soybean growers to increase profit.  Because the soil and weather factors in North Dakota are different than other geographical regions, production studies conducted in other states are not as useful in making management decisions.

Private companies have typically relied on universities to provide improved breeding methodology.  Private companies are dedicated to bringing new products to the marketplace and do not have time to refine and improve the breeding theory and methods.  Improved breeding methods aid the soybean grower by making the breeding process of private companies more efficient and increasing the rate of genetic gain.

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