Tech Grad Studies Soybeans


Arkansas Tech alumnus Bryan Stobaugh is studying various lines of soybeans. Stobaugh currently works as a researcher at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.  He grew up on a farm outside of Morrilton and says he became interested in genetics as an undergraduate student at Tech.

After graduating from Arkansas Tech, he began working on the statewide soybean breeding program.

The goal of the program is to develop beans suited for Arkansas’ multiple environments, and researchers have planted experimental beans “in seven locations around the state. That provides solid information on genetic/environment interaction.”

Currently, researchers have soybean lines in the final process of testing.

“Preparing a line is really time-consuming,” says Stobaugh. “It actually takes 12 years from the start to when it is in a farmer’s hands.

Stobaugh and his colleagues “work to find soybeans with high-yield, high-protein oil content that is comparable to the GMO varieties on the market.”

He added, “I work with oil and protein, so I’m very interested in seed composition. I like to say that with conventional varieties, the farmer has an option to break away from the norm — and break away from the resistant weed issue in the state. A large amount of grass and other weeds are simply taking over Arkansas fields.”

Stobaugh says he’ll earn his masters degree soon, and he plans earn his doctorate.