he key to a successful soybean-breeding program is to collect useful data every year, even when growing conditions are not ideal. Although drought could claim some field trials this year, soybean-breeding programs around the country have developed strategies to mitigate the impact of drought.
"Knowing that drought strikes in different parts of the country each year, what we in soybean breeding have done is develop a network of breeders all working on drought," Tommy Carter, Ph.D., research geneticist and soybean breeder with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, said. "Even if it is too dry in one area we can still get data. Building in this redundancy is our single most powerful way to overcome production problems. If we did not do this it would probably cut our rate of progress in half."