What is SoyFACE?

SoyFACE (Soybean Free Air Concentration Enrichment) is an innovative facility for growing crops under production field conditions with altered climatic conditions. These altered conditions reflect predicted future changes to our climate, including an atmosphere with higher levels of carbon dioxide and ozone, higher temperatures and different soil water availability. SoyFACE was designed in 2001 to discover how climate change affects the agronomy and productivity of Midwestern crops and to find solutions to better adapt crops to this future. The site has been in operation for over two decades, making it the longest-running FACE facility in the world.

This unique facility and its highly interdisciplinary research teams seek answers to important questions, including:

  • What yield and quality changes will result with rising CO2, temperature, drought stress and ozone?
  • What genotypes and genes may be exploited to increase yield and maintain quality under future conditions?
  • What system changes will increase yields and maintain quality under the changed atmosphere?
  • Will soil quality be degraded, and, if so, how can this be alleviated?
  • Will rates of soil carbon deposition be increased, and what value might this have in terms of carbon credits?
  • How will changes in CO2, temperature, drought stress and ozone impact insect and pathogens?

Listen to postdoctoral associate, Dr. Chris Montes, outline the major research objectives of SoyFACE, explain how the fumigation technology works and present some of our major findings: