Nebraska On-Farm Research Network – Opportunities this June


Nebraska On-Farm Research Network – June 2015

There is still time for agricultural producers to get involved with the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network’s 2015 projects.

Growers who are interested in sidedressing a portion of fertilizer nitrogen are encouraged to take a look at Maize-N, a decision support tool for N recommendation. Nitrogen management for corn may be improved by applying a portion of N during the growing season. This allows N fertilizer availability to more closely synchronize with the time when the crop is rapidly up-taking nitrogen.

Maize-N is a computer program developed at UNL that simulates fertilizer requirement for corn. The estimation of N fertilizer requirement in Maize-N is based on user input information on the current corn crop, last season’s crop, tillage, crop residue management, basic soil properties, fertilizer management, and long-term weather data of the field. The program first simulates corn yield potential and its year to year variation. It then estimates the economically optimal N rate of fertilizer to apply.

This model has been validated in experiments in central Nebraska, eastern South Dakota, and western Nebraska, including both irrigated and rainfed systems. The economic optimum N rate (EONR) simulated by Maize-N and the EONR generated with more empirical university N recommendation approaches were compared to actual observed EONR; EONR simulated by Maize-N was found to have greater accuracy than the university N recommendation approaches.

This year, the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network is working with a number of growers to evaluate Maize-N. The study involves 2 treatments: producer’s sidedress nitrogen rate and the Maize-N sidedress nitrogen rate.

There is still time to get involved with this project and evaluate this tool for nitrogen management. You can schedule a meeting to go through the Maize-N tool to generate the nitrogen recommendation for your field. Contact Laura Thompson at 402-624-8033 or ude.l1521601263nu@no1521601263spmoh1521601263t.aru1521601263al1521601263.

Another project that growers can participate in is a late planted soybean population research project. With consistent rain events in portions of the state, many producers still have soybeans to plant. Producers and agronomists question whether they should increase soybean seeding rates when planting soybeans late in the season due to weather delays or replant situations. Late planted soybeans form fewer nodes per plant resulting in fewer places to set pods. The thinking is that increasing seeding rates will compensate for this as well as increase canopy cover and capture more sunlight.

Most universities have suggested to increase seeding rates when planting soybeans in June. However, research done in Iowa showed that soybean seeding rates don’t need to be increased as planting is delayed to early June. Previous on-farm research conducted in Nebraska on soybean seeding rates were conducted in April and May. The results suggest that seeding rates greater than 120,000 seeds per acre (with a final stand of 100,000 plants per acre) rarely increase yield. Is the same true of soybeans planted in June?

A protocol to test this question was developed by Nathan Mueller, Dodge County Extension Educator. If you are interested in looking into this question, you can contact him at 402-727-2775 or ude.l1521601263nu@re1521601263lleum1521601263.naht1521601263aN1521601263. The protocol is available at On-Farm Research Protocols.

Finally, the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network is partnering with industry to research several products available to farmers. “With so many options on the market, it is important for farmers to evaluate if these products are effective as claimed and if they provide an economic return,” says Keith Glewen, On-Farm Research Coordinator. The studies are designed using randomization and replication so that the effect due to the treatment being studied can be evaluated.

The products being studied include: seed treatment for Sudden Death Syndrome (soybean), growth promoter (corn), growth stimulator (corn and popcorn), and fertilizer Additive (corn).

For more information and to view detailed study protocols on these topics and more, visit

If you have interest in conducting a study or would like more information, contact you [local extension educator name and info here], Keith Glewen, ude.l1521601263nu@1n1521601263ewelg1521601263k1521601263, 402-624-8005 or Laura Thompson, ude.l1521601263nu@no1521601263spmoh1521601263t.aru1521601263al1521601263, 402-624-8033.

Nebraska On-Farm Research Network – Opportunities this June
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