Jim Specht - Emeritus Professor of Agronomy

Soybean pods
Figure 1. Soybean pods collected from stage R7 plants (one mature pod per plant) that were opened to determine if the pod wall interior membrane was still clinging tightly to the seeds (leftmost pod), or if it was beginning to detach from the seeds (second pod), or if the membrane was now permanently attached to the pod wall (third pod). After attaining physiological maturity, seeds undergo a dry-down period from about 60% moisture to about 13% moisture. Note that the Rx.x numbers used here are pod-based stages, not plant-based stages.

Understanding Ending Reproductive Stages in Soybean

August 27, 2021
The timing of the ending R stages in soybean is governed by planting date (PD) and varietal maturity group (MG), though the date of R7 can be hastened if water stress and high temperatures prevail in August — something we are seeing in portions of Nebraska this year.

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Nebraska sample field map

What Have We Learned about Soybean Seed Constituents in Irrigated and Dryland Producer Fields in Nebraska?

June 14, 2021
With a continuous decline in seed protein concentration in U.S. soybeans, UNL researchers examined how irrigation practices in Nebraska may contribute to this issue for soybean growers.

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Soybean emergence

Q/A: Questions about Soybean Emergence and Stands

May 27, 2021
There are many factors for producers with soybean emergence and stand issues to consider; this article reviews potential causes, identification techniques and management options.

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Soybean plant emerging

Tracking Soil and Air Temperatures — Soybean Planting Considerations

April 14, 2021
Results of ongoing Nebraska Extension field demonstrations to determine critical soil temperatures and trends for soybean germination and emergence, plus early soybean planting considerations. 

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Soybean imbibitional time research
Jim loading seed trays for the indoor soybean study (left) and trays in the 36°F cooler (right). (Photos by Jenny Rees)

Demonstrating Critical Imbibitional Time for Soybean

April 14, 2021
This Nebraska Extension indoor study offers a comprehensive analysis of the timing and duration of the critical imbibition water uptake phase for soybean, to assist growers in their decisions on planting dates this spring. 

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Soybean pods at the R7 stage showing different levels of membrane attachment within the pod.

Taking Note of the Ending Reproductive Stages of Your Soybean Crop

August 27, 2020
The heat and drought in areas of the State are rapidly moving Nebraska’s 2020 soybean crop along. Growers have been asking how to determine late season growth stages for last irrigation of the season and for determining maturity.

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emerging corn showing varying degrees of frost damage

Evaluating Freeze and Chilling Injury in Corn and Soybeans

May 13, 2020
The weather took a turn to the cold side over the last week. Across Nebraska, lows at or below 32°F were recorded. Clear conditions coupled with these temperatures favor frost formation especially in low lying areas. So, what does this mean for our crops?

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tractor planting corn in a field

Corn and Soybean Planting Considerations for 2020

April 22, 2020
Everything we do at planting sets the stage for the rest of the year. With tight economics, it’s important to make wise decisions with the factors we can control during planting season.

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