On-Farm Research Yields Valuable Data for Producers

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

Numbers show that Nebraska farmers are producing more crops on less land, but farmers are still trying to grow more. UNL Extension Educators say that with the help of those producers they can gather data to do just that.

Gary Zoubek, UNL Extension Educator in York County, says on-farm research done with producers can be the answer other producers are looking for.

"We have questions about you know 'what should my population be?' or 'what rate of fertilizer should I apply?'" says Zoubek.

Zoubek says the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network is looking for producers to help them compare populations, nitrogen management, and irrigation in corn production. He says data from on-farm research this this year may supplement other irrigation management data, a benefit for all Nebraska producers.

"Putting on 75% is probably more economical than putting on 125% because when you've put on too much we got a lower yield and we add the fuel cost," says Zoubek.

Extension educators say corn studies done now will help corn producers in the coming years, but past on-farm research done in Nebraska's soybean fields has already changed that crop's production.

Clay County Extension Educator Jenny Rees says four years of on-farm research revealed new information about soybean planting dates and soybean planting rates.

She says farmers in that area plant around 160,000 seeds per acre, but data indicates farmers should drop their seeding rates to 120,000 per acre.

"That's reducing it 40,000 per acre - they're not going to see a difference in their yield, but they'll be saving anywhere from $11 to $19 per acre just on their seeding costs," says Rees.

Officials say it's that kind of data that not only saves producers money, but leads to higher yields, and better management practices.

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