Jim Specht - Emeritus Professor of Agronomy

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
Weather during the growing season (sunlight, temperature, and rainfall) will ultimately determine the soybean yield potential in a given year. While it is difficult to predict the weather ahead, you have an opportunity to manage your planting date to increase the odds of achieving a higher yield in 2016.

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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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