At the 2017 Crop Production Clinics, the Nebraska Extension Soils Team is presenting a historical overview of how nitrogen recommendations for corn have developed and changed since the 1950s. We are also discussing what may lay ahead for nitrogen management.
A short review of cover crop research conducted at four University of Nebraska research fields (two irrigated, two dryland) to study the feasibility and impact of winter cover cropping on soil quality, soil water, and crop yields in corn-soybean systems. Objectives were to quantify cover crop emergence, fall and spring biomass production, soil water changes, soil chemical and physical property changes, and crop yields.
End-of-season yield forecasts for irrigated and dryland corn across eight states in the Corn Belt indicate above average yields for 2016, but not the record-breaking yields predicted by USDA in their September forecast. While two states are forecast to have yields below the 10-year average (-1% to -4%), the remaining states showed above average yields ranging from 1% to 21% above the 10-year average.
The Sept. 7 corn yield forecasts show a majority of the irrigated sites expected to produce above normal, but not record-breaking yields. Forecasted yields for rainfed sites are more variable, although most are expected to be near normal. Above average yields are expected for 11 of the 37 sites studied and below-normal yields are forecast for five sites.
August 24 corn yield forecasts for 41 sites across the Corn Belt showed many near or above average. At Nebraska rainfed corn sites there is a high probability (>75%) of above-average yield at the North Platte and central east sites and a high probability (>75%) of below-average yield at the southwestern and southeastern Nebraska sites (McCook, Clay Center, and Beatrice). In irrigated corn there was a high probability of near or above average yields for all except the Beatrice site. See the story for data tables and discussion.
Rye was the leading biomass producer in the first two years of a four-year study exploring whether winter cover cropping in no-till corn and soybean systems in Nebraska can benefit soil quality despite their short growing season.
Simulations of 2016 end-of-season corn yield potential for 41 sites indicate high probability of near or above-average yields in irrigated fields, but much more variability across the Corn Belt for rainfed fields. Several sites in southern and northeast Nebraska and in Iowa show a higher probability of below average yields. The article includes yield forecasts for each site, along with conditions for the period contributing to the forecasts.