Hunter, Kuykendall Win ARS Tech-Transfer
Award By David
February 11, 2002
BELTSVILLE, Md., Feb. 11Agricultural Research Service scientists
William J. Hunter and David Kuykendall have won a Technology Transfer Award
from the federal research agency for developing and moving to the marketplace a
microbial inoculant for soybeans that has gained wide acceptance among
ARS is the chief scientific research agency of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Hunter is a microbiologist at ARS
Soil-Plant-Nutrient Research lab in
Fort Collins, Colo. Kuykendall is a microbiologist at the agencys
Molecular Plant Pathology
Laboratory in Beltsville.
The scientists will receive their award during a ceremony
Wednesday at the agencys Henry A.
Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.
The microbial inoculant developed by Hunter and Kuykendall
enables soybean farmers to produce larger yields and potentially larger
profits. The patented inoculant was licensed to
Urbana Laboratories in
Prior to this invention, approximately 5 percent of soybean
farmers used an inoculant. Now up to 40 percent of soybean farmers in some
states use the USDA bacterial strain, which enhances the soybean plants
uptake of nutrients and protects it from disease pathogens.
Urbana Laboratories reports that during the first seven years of
use of the inoculant, more than 13 million acres were treated with the USDA
The ARS scientists research has appeared in scientific
journals and the popular press. The benefits of microbial inoculant were
explained to committees in both chambers of Congress as an example of the
important research ARS conducts.
Thousands of products contain soybeans, including foods, hair
and personal grooming products, and household cleaners. Soybeans also provide
the worlds most widely used edible oil.