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Soy-based herbicide wins top honors at annual competition

pictured left to right: Alyson Chaney and Peyton Clark (photo courtesy of the Indiana Soybean Alliance)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – A soy-based herbicide won the top prize at the 26th annual Student Soybean Innovation Competition. Purdue University students Alyson Chaney and Peyton Clark of Team HerbiSoy developed a non-toxic, soybean-based herbicide that uses all natural ingredients.

The competition is sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Purdue University. Purdue students are invited to develop new applications for soybeans that meet a market need.

The winning team says the herbicide is a general weed killer and is effective on both broadleaf and grass. According to Chaney, the non-toxic herbicide differs from other products on the market and kills weeds more quickly and inexpensively.

“We see this as a product that is safe for people to use around their homes, but there is also potential for it to go into the agricultural market as a general burndown,” said Clark.

The competition was broadcast on Facebook Live on April 21.

“ISA is very happy to work with Purdue students in the contest as we look to expand markets for soybeans grown in Indiana,” said Nancy Cline, assistant chair of ISA’s Grain Marketing and Utilization Committee. “The essence of this contest is to show the versatility of soybeans while addressing people’s needs. The all-natural, non-toxic weed killer has tremendous potential and will likely appeal to customers in the U.S. and around the world.”

This year’s competition included 12 teams comprised of 36 Purdue University students. The contest aims to introduce students to the many and varied uses of soybeans.

In 2019, Chaney and Clark earned second place for developing a wood finish made with soy nanocellulose.

“This event allows us to create relationships with bright and innovative students and their mentors at Purdue. Some of the products that evolve out of this contest could potentially have a positive impact on our soybean prices,” added Cline.

In addition to the annual competition, the state soybean checkoff also funds the Soybean Utilization Endowed Chair at Purdue’s College of Agriculture to lead research on new uses for soybeans.