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ARS Scientist Wins Award for Soybean Production Research / February 13, 2002 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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Story about Heatherly's research

Larry Heatherly (left) with farm consultant: Link to photo information
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ARS Scientist Wins Award for Soybean Production Research

By Jim Core
February 13, 2002

BELTSVILLE, Md., Feb. 13, 2002—Larry G. Heatherly, a research agronomist with the Agricultural Research Service at Stoneville, Miss., has won an ARS technology transfer award for developing and adopting the Early Soybean Production System (ESPS) for a large part of the southern United States. ARS is the chief scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Heatherly, with the ARS Crop Genetics and Production Research Unit at Stoneville, will be honored today during a 1 p.m. ceremony at the agency’s Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

ESPS is a new production concept designed to reduce exposure to the yield-limiting effects of drought that occurs during normal growing seasons. It requires using the stale seedbed planting system developed by Heatherly. ESPS is now used on about one-third of the 8 million soybean acres in the lower Mississippi River Valley. During the past five years, use of ESPS has resulted in increased soybean income of more than $75 million per year in a six-state area.

The ESPS was the only production system that resulted in a profit from dryland soybean production during the devastating July and August droughts of 1999 and 2000.

“Dr. Heatherly personally promoted this new concept by advising and working directly with producers who made large-scale ESPS plantings, by conducting economic analyses to show consistently greater profits, and by transferring this new technology through popular press articles, electronic media presentations and personal appearances on radio and television programs,” said Edward B. Knipling, ARS acting administrator.

Heatherly summarized this work in a book he co-edited entitled “Soybean Production in the Midsouth.” Heatherly also highlights the positive effects of the concept in a monthly column he writes entitled “The Delta Soybean Scene” for the Delta Business Journal. He is the author or coauthor of more than 100 publications.

A native of Union City, Tenn., Heatherly received a B.S. in general agriculture from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1968. He received an M.S. in agronomy from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1972 and a Ph.D. in agronomy from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1975. Heatherly is a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War. He has been with ARS since 1975.

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Last Modified: 2/13/2002
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