Nebraska On-Farm Research Network’s Projects

Growers who are interested in side dressing a portion of fertilizer nitrogen are encouraged to take a look at Maize-N, a decision support tool for N recommendation. Nitrogen management for corn may be improved by applying a portion of N during the growing season. This allows N fertilizer availability to more closely synchronize with the time when the crop is rapidly up-taking nitrogen.

Maize-N is a computer program developed at UNL that simulates fertilizer requirement for corn. The estimation of N fertilizer requirement in Maize-N is based on user input information on the current corn crop, last season’s crop, tillage, crop residue management, basic soil properties, fertilizer management, and long-term weather data of the field. The program first simulates corn yield potential and its year-to-year variation. It then estimates the economically optimal N rate of fertilizer to apply.Maize N input.PNG

This year, the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network is working with a number of growers to evaluate Maize-N. The study involves 2 treatments: producer’s sidedress nitrogen rate and the Maize-N sidedress nitrogen rate.

There is still time to get involved with this project and evaluate this tool for nitrogen management. You can schedule a meeting to go through the Maize-N tool to generate the nitrogen recommendation for your field. Contact Laura Thompson at 402-624-8033 or More information about the Maize-N study is available at

Another project that growers can participate in is a late-planted soybean population research project. With consistent rain events in portions of the state, many producers still have soybeans to plant. Producers and agronomists question whether they should increase soybean seeding rates when planting soybeans late in the season due to weather delays or replant situations. Late planted soybeans form fewer nodes per plant resulting in fewer places to set pods. The thinking is that increasing seeding rates will compensate for this as well as increase canopy cover and capture more sunlight.

Most universities have suggested increasing seeding rates when planting soybeans in June. However, research done in Iowa showed that soybean seeding rates don’t need to be increased as planting is delayed to early June. Previous on-farm research conducted in Nebraska on soybean seeding rates was conducted in April and May. The results suggest that seeding rates greater than 120,000 seeds per acre (with a final stand of 100,000 plants per acre) rarely increase yield. Is the same true of soybeans planted in June? The protocol is available at

Finally, the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network is partnering with industry to research several products available to farmers. The studies are designed using randomization and replication so that the effect due to the treatment being studied can be evaluated. The products being studied include: seed treatment for Sudden Death Syndrome (soybean), growth promoter (corn), growth stimulator (corn and popcorn), and fertilizer Additive (corn).

For more information and to view detailed study protocols on these topics and more, visit

If you have interest in conducting a study or would like more information, contact me, Keith Glewen,, 402-624-8005 or Laura Thompson,, 402-624-8033.

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