Jim Specht - Emeritus Professor of Agronomy

Center pivot irrigation of soybean
The online tool SoyWater can aid in staging crop growth stage of soybeans and scheduling irrigations at the right time for maximum efficiency and impact. ons and make the ones you do apply more efficient.

Using SoyWater to Schedule Irrigation and Monitor Soybean Stages to Guide Decision-Making June 26, 2017

SoyWater is an online tool that, based on the information you input, can provide timely, field-specific irrigation recommendations to increase irrigation efficiency.

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Nebraska precipitation map

When Weather Delays Planting – Now What? May 26, 2017

Agronomists consider several options for those pushed into late planting due to heavy rains. Changing corn hybrids or soybean varieties is not recommended, nor is shifting to alternate crops.

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Chart of Nebraska & US corn yield trends (1971-2016)

Soybean and Corn Yield and Acreage Trends through 2016 May 25, 2017

Nebraska soybean and corn yields steadily increased from 1971 to 2016, in both irrigated and rainfed production fields. Charts based on USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service numbers track these changes.

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Meat thermometer measuring soil temperature

Corn, Soybean Planting Considerations for this Week’s Cold Snap April 24, 2017

With nighttime lows predicted to drop several nights this week, growers are advised to cautiously assess the potential for germination problems due to imbibitional chilling before planting. Agronomists advise checking soil temperatures in each field the day of planting as well as forecast temperatures for 24 hours (soybeans) or 48 hours (corn) after planting.

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3 top tps for delayed soybean planting
3 top tps for delayed soybean planting

Adjusting for Delayed Soybean Planting May 27, 2016

As wet conditions further delay soybean planting in some areas, learn what practices may need to be adjusted and which don't to achieve a successful soybean stand.

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Soybean Seeding Rate Tips April 20, 2016

Numerous soybean seeding rate studies have indicated that a final plant population of about 80,000 to 120,000 plants per acre is likely sufficient for ensuring an economic return, with the latter being based on weighing the slightly higher yield potential with higher final pl

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Photos of canopy closure based on various planting dates
Figure 3. Canopy cover in early July for each planting date in a 2015 Nebraska study. Authors note that fields that have closed canopy and are "green to the eye by the 4th of July" make the best use of sunlight to generate top yields.PD = planting date.

Early Bird Gets the Worm: Benefits of Early Soybean Planting April 20, 2016

A 4-Step Early Bird Guide to Higher Soybean Yield Potential:

  • Select full-season varieties with proven yield performance.
  • Know your replant coverage with seed suppliers and insurance.
  • Shoot for soil temperatures above 50°F during the 48 hours after planting.

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Thermometer taking temperature of residue-covered soil
Taking the soil temperature

Three Key Considerations for Planting Corn and Soybeans April 15, 2016

Planting as early as possible allows your crop to collect solar radiation sooner; however, the practice comes with some risks which need to be weighed against the benefit.

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