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Extension Update from Jenny Rees


Jenny’s REESources-April 6, 2017


Apr. 6:  Chancellor Ronnie Green Installation Ceremony, 11 a.m., Lied Center for Performing Arts. RSVP: http://go.unl.edu/ceremony. Livestream http://www.unl.edu.
Apr. 7:  Cattlemen’s Fire Relief Fundraiser, doors open 7:30, Fillmore County Fairgrounds, Geneva
Apr. 10-12:  Water for Food Conference, Nebraska Innovation Campus, http://go.unl.edu/p9rd
Apr. 11:  Pesticide Training, 1:30 and 6:30 p.m., Hruska Library, David City,mrethwisch2@unl.edu
Apr. 11:  Emerald Ash Borer Workshop, 6:00 p.m., Fillmore Co. Extension Office in Geneva, RSVP to 402-759-3712
Apr. 12:  Contract Livestock Production Meetings, Seward Fairgrounds (Harvest Hall) 7am, David City (Winfield’s Opera House) 12pm, York (Cornerstone Event Center) 5:30 pm. RSVP by April 5 to 402-362-8496.
Apr. 12:  Heuermann Lecture “Water and Global Issues”, 4:00 p.m., Nebraska Innovation Campus or live-stream:  http://heuermannlectures.unl.edu/
Apr. 22:  Household Hazardous Waste Collection, 8-11 a.m., Parking Lot of City of Seward Wastewater plant
Apr. 22:  Household Hazardous Waste Collection, 1-4 p.m., York County Landfill, York
May 30-21:  Youth Tractor Safety Class, 8am, Kearney Fairgrounds (308) 236-1235
June 28:  South Central Ag Lab Weed Science Field Day, SCAL near Clay Center (morning)
June 28:  South Central Ag Lab Cover Crop Field Day, SCAL near Clay Center (afternoon)
July 10-11:  Youth Tractor Safety Class, 8am, Grand Island College Park (308) 385-5088.

Farm Finance Clinic Sites and Dates To sign up for a clinic or to get more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

Soybean Seeding Rate Research:  At pesticide trainings this winter, I was sharing some of our on-farm research including our 10 year soybean seeding rate study.  In summary, a reduction in seeding rate of 150,000 seeds/acre to 120,000 seeds/acre would result in a $10.69/acre savings without affecting yield (Assuming a $60/unit seed cost at 140,000 seeds/unit).

In 2006, a group of farmers gathered together in York, NE for a discussion about on-farm research projects for the coming year.  They were looking at ways to reduce input costs without affecting yield.  One question asked was “What is the effect of seeding rates on soybean yields?”  Several farmers chose to try a project with four different seeding rates (90K, 120K, 150K, and 180K seeds/acre) in 30” row spacings.

Ten years later, the research continues with the same results:  reducing soybean seeding rates from 180,000 or 150,000 seeds/acre down to 120,000 seeds/acre doesn’t statistically reduce yields in 30” rows in silty clay loam and silt loam soils in south-central and southeastern Nebraska.  Results of 16 studies showed for seeding rates of 180K, 150K, and 120K seeds per acre, average yields were 66.9, 66.5, and 66.2 bu/ac respectively. 

The dataset for this study includes:

  • The latest soybean varieties as the data has been conducted from 2006-2016.
  • Erect and bushy type varieties in growth architecture.
  • Higher and lower yielding situations.
  • Fourteen irrigated fields and two non-irrigated.
  • Hail events occurring from V2 to R2 in some of these fields. 
  • Seed treated in some fields and others without (determined by farmer by planting date).
  • In some years, pod and seed count data was also collected showing similar number of seeds/acre and ultimately yield per acre.
  • Observations of increased plant branching at lower seeding rates and difficulty in telling the seeding rate treatments apart as the season progressed. 

The early studies within this dataset all had seed germ of at least 90% listed on the seed bag and in all but two situations, the farmers were able to achieve 90% or greater of their planted stand.  The two exceptions were seeded at 180,000 seeds/acre where they achieved 88%.

Surveys conducted via CropWatch and at pesticide trainings have shown on average, most Nebraska farmers plant around 150,000 seeds/acre.  Our recommendation based on our research is to consider reducing your seeding rate to 120,000 seeds per acre and aiming for a final plant stand of 100,000 plants per acre.   Economically, if you were using 150,000 planting rate and switched to 120,000 seeds per acre, you would save $10.69/acre (Assuming a $60/bag seed cost at 140,000 seeds).

The same question regarding the effect of reduced populations on soybean yields exists today for farmers switching to narrow row planted soybeans.  In 2016, two on-farm research studies were conducted in 15” row planted soybeans in Richardson and Washington Counties.  Both of these fields contained silt loam and/or silty clay loam soils.

Seeding rates of 90K, 120K, 150K, and 180K seeds/acre were planted in the Washington County field with non-significant yield differences of 76, 77, 77, and 76 bu/ac respectively with the 90K rate resulting in the highest marginal net return.  The farmer was able to achieve 91% or greater of original planted stand.

Seeding rates of 116K, 130K, 160K, and 185K were planted in the Richardson County field.  There was no statistical yield differences between 185K, 160K, and 130K seeding rates in this study with yields of 68, 68, and 67 bu/ac respectively.  The 116K seeded rate resulted in a yield of 66 bu/ac.  Heavy crusting affected final plant populations in the field resulting in final stands of 126,333; 113,667; 99,417; and 87,667 for seeding rates of 185K, 160K, 130K, and 116K respectively.  The 116K seeding rate resulted in the highest marginal net return for this study.

Looking for ways to reduce soybean inputs this year but still hesitant to reduce your seeding rates?  Consider trying this yourself for your location!  Simply compare your current seeding rate vs. 120,000 seeds/acre and see what happens for your field conditions.  Protocols can be found at our Nebraska On-Farm Research Network website.  You can also download the Nebraska On-farm Research app available in Apple and Android to help you set up your plot design to obtain scientific results.  Or feel free to contact me or anyone involved in our Nebraska On-Farm Research Network for additional questions or help setting up your research project.  You can see yield charts representing this information in this week’s http://cropwatch.unl.edu.

Chancellor Ronnie Green Installation Ceremony:  All are invited for the Installation of Ronnie D. Green, Ph.D. as Twentieth Chancellor of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln!  The ceremony will be held Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.  All are also invited to the reception following the ceremony at the Sheldon Art Gallery.  RSVP can be made at the following link:  go.unl.edu/ceremony.  From what I can tell, there should also be a livestream at http://www.unl.edu. 

Cattlemen Hosting Fire Relief Fundraiser:  The South Central Cattlemen, Thayer County Livestock Feeders, Exeter Feeders and Breeders, and York-Hamilton County Cattlemen are hosting a Fund Raising activity for the producers affected by range fires in Kansas the past weeks.

The evening activity is scheduled for Friday, April 7, 2017, doors opening at 7:30 p.m. and entertainment starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds in Geneva.  Activities for the evening will include entertainment by Comedian Drew Hastings of Lincoln, music by a live band, and free desserts provided by Kerry’s Restaurant of McCool Jct.

Kim Siebert of Henderson, Cattlemen’s President for 2017 said donations of feed, hay, fencing supplies or cash are encouraged and will be routed through the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association to make sure the donations get to the right producers to help out in the best way possible.  If you can’t attend the evening’s event, please consider giving a much-needed donation to locations that are designated at http://www.beefusa.org.  

For questions, or more information you can contact Mark Klute of Hampton at 402-725-3488, Kim Siebert of Henderson at 402-723-4376, or Matt Caldwell of Edgar at 402-469-1190.




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