Soybean Field Provides Hands-On Learning Opportunities for Students in Southeast Missouri

Credit: Southeast Missouri State University

A 12-acre soybean field is doubling as a working lab for students at the Southeast Missouri State University’s Sikeston Regional Campus. The field, which contains 36 plots with 13 different varieties of soybeans, is irrigated with a Zimmatic® by Lindsay center pivot system.

“We installed the system for them in 2015. It’s a standard, non-tow, single tower center pivot with an end gun,” said Rick Smelser of Irrigation Central, the Zimmatic dealer that serves the Sikeston area. “The pivot is connected to the submersible pump by approximately 600 feet of underground pipe.”

The Irrigation Central crew also installed a Zimmatic BOSS panel enabled with FieldNET® by Lindsay, giving faculty members and students the ability to remotely control and monitor the system from their smartphones, tablets or laptops. 

The well and pump are set up for both pivot and flood irrigation, which gives students an opportunity to use different types of equipment and understand how both methods affect yield and resources.

“It’s important for them to see how crops react to the different methods and to understand what they can do to save water, energy and time,” Smelser said. “We’re happy to support these types of programs, because we want to keep young men and women in our area rather than going out of state for school or job opportunities. They are our future farmers and agricultural leaders.”

For more information about the project, visit