Patricio Grassini - Associate Professor of Agronomy and Horticulture, and Cropping Systems Specialist

Patricio Grassini

Work Plant Sciences Hall (PLSH) 387
Lincoln NE 68583-0915
Work 402-472-5554 On campus, dial 2-5554
Meeting demand for food, feed, fiber, and fuel in a world with a population of 9.8 billion people by 2050, without negative environmental impact or unsustainable use of natural resources, is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. Sustainable crop intensification on existing cropland area is therefore crucial to meet increasing food demand and relieve the pressure on cropland expansion. My research and extension programs focus on narrowing the existing yield gap between potential yields and current farm yields, while improving resource-use efficiency and producer profit and minimizing environmental footprint. In accomplishing the foregoing, my program leverages from expertise on crop modeling, spatial analysis, big data, and hypothesis-driven field experiments to benchmark productivity and environmental footprint of crop systems and to identify opportunities for improving both. My program aligns with the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) goals relative to address priority issues facing agriculture and food industries in Nebraska and globally, provide the knowledge base essential for managing our natural resources, promote family well-being and community development, and educate future scientists. My research promoting sustainable crop intensification goes beyond Nebraska and USA, including cropping systems in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South-East Asia. A major on-going project is to develop a Global Yield Gap Atlas that provides estimates of gaps between actual and potential yield for major cropping systems. Another major initiative is a four-year project working with smallholder oil palm farmers in Indonesia. I also lead a project on yield corn forecasting that provides real-time estimates of corn yield potential for the entire US Corn Belt region.


  • Ph D, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2010
  • BS, University of Buenos Aires, 2005

icon-documentPublications and Other Intellectual Contributions

  • Beyond the plot: Technology extrapolation domains for scaling out agronomic science., Environmental Research Letters , April (2nd Quarter/Spring) 2018
  • Fostering a climate-smart intensification for oil palm, NATURE SUSTAINABILITY, April (2nd Quarter/Spring) 2021
  • Sustainable intensification for a larger global rice bowl, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, December 2021
  • Luck versus Skill: Is Nitrogen Balance in Irrigated Maize Fields Driven by Persistent or Random Factors?, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, July (3rd Quarter/Summer) 2021

icon-bookmark-starAwards & Honors

  • Listed in the 2021 List of Highly Cited Researchers (top 1% in the discipline and year in the world), Web of Science Group, 2021
  • W.L. Nelson Award for Diagnosing Yield-Limiting Factors, Agronomy Society of America , 2020
  • American Society of Agronomy (ASA) Early Career Award , Agronomy Society of America, 2016
  • Omtvedt Innovation Award, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2021
  • Junior Faculty Excellence in Research, UNL-ARD, 2015
  • Fulbright Scholarship, Fulbright Commission in Argentina, 2007

Faculty Bio

Farmer on machinery

Farmer Focus: Nebraska Producers Evaluate Practices to Increase Soybean Yield, Profit Through the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network

April 21, 2022
Nebraska farmers highlight their results from a three-year on-farm research study that evaluated a suite of management practices to increase soybean yield and profitability.

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2021 corn yield forecast for midwestern states

2021 Corn Yield Forecasts: End-of-season Forecasts Suggest Near to Below-average Yields for the Region

September 16, 2021
In line with our previous reports, our forecasted yield potential this season seems to be 10% below the historical average.

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Corn yield forecast map

2021 Corn Yield Forecasts as of Aug. 25

August 25, 2021
In line with previous forecasts in mid-July and early August, there is no indication that this is going to be a record — and not even an above average — year for national corn yield.

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2021 corn yield potential map

2021 Corn Yield Forecasts as of Aug. 4

August 4, 2021
Below-average rainfall has increased the probability of low yield for rainfed sites in western and northern parts of the Corn Belt and central Iowa.

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Probability of 2021 yield potential map

2021 Corn Yield Forecasts as of July 14

July 14, 2021
Although it is still too early to make strong inferences about end-of-season yields for irrigated corn, there is a relatively high probability for near-average yields for a majority of sites.

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Yield forecast network of sites across the upper midwest

2021 Corn Yield Forecasts: Approach and Interpretation of Results

June 30, 2021
The Yield Forecasting Center (YFC) will provide real-time information on corn phenology and forecasts of corn yield potential every three weeks, starting in mid-July, to aid growers and ag industry in making management, logistics and marketing decisions through the 2021 season.

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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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Extension educators analyze soybean field
Nebraska farmers can evaluate three soybean management practices aimed at increasing yields by working with the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network.

Three Practices May Help Farmers Achieve Higher Soybean Yields, Profits

April 5, 2021
Results of an on-farm research study that evaluated three management practices — planting date, seeding rate and the use of foliar fungicides and insecticides — to increase soybean yields. 

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