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Nebraska ON Farm Research Question and Answer
University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Question and Answer session with Ron Seymour, Sarah Sivits, Laura Thompson, Todd Whitney and Joe Luck, Chuck Burr, moderator.
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Any comments, Laura?
You are in charge of On-Farm Research.
You want to make any comments about that?
What you do, what you all get involved in?
Yeah, I think there's been a lot
of really great presentations
just showing the breadth of topics
and different ways that people are involved
in on-farm research.
So a lot of great opportunities.
I think it's really been highlighted already
in the presentations here,
but a lot of educators and specialists
willing to work with farmers
to help them conduct on-farm research,
and that can look quite different
depending on what everyone's questions are,
what might be relevant for their operation.
But I think that's really the strength of this
is that we're able to customize
and really work one-on-one to answer questions
and get really good, solid data-driven information.
So hopefully we get some good questions here,
but I think we've had a lot of,
a really great overview of the value
of on-farm research here.
Yeah, just want to put a plug in for Laura.
She really understands the technology
and I've been involved in some on-farm research studies here
and I can turn on a yield monitor and that's about it.
So I appreciate Laura being able to take the files
and extracting the data and running the analytics on that.
And I know Joe can do that as well.
He's pretty technology savvy too.
So Joe, any comments from you?
Oh, nothing much to add.
Just, you know, this is we're seeing a lot of the companies
that work in the data space
that are trying to make these kind of tools easier
for folks to use.
And so my opinion is this is kind of the way
we can teach people to fish
and start answering some of these questions on their own.
And it's just gonna become more and more prevalent
in the tools available to do this in the future
so the sooner folks can get their feet wet in there
and kinda start asking some questions and stuff like that,
I think the better.
So it's good stuff!
Okay, thank you.
Ron, you had a couple of producers on there.
Brandon and David.
I know they're pretty positive.
Other producers you've worked with in the Adams County area?
Yeah, I have, a couple, three people
that I'm working with in Adams.
We're looking at some soybean rate studies.
We're looking at nitrogen application in soybeans.
And interesting, you know,
I've done work with a number of farmers
over the years on these.
I had one farmer that was pretty interested
and we'd try some different products
and he kinda quit because he's going,
"I'm so disappointed
"that I keep getting these negative results."
I'm going, "Well, negative results are really good
"because without those results,
"you would have done this treatment
"and may not have known whether it made a difference
"for you or not."
And so I keep trying to encourage some people
to keep working on these techniques.
And I really, as I was watching,
I really appreciated some of the data
that Dr. Luck showed
with the very building in the fields
and why we want the replication
and how it's really not that hard,
but it is so important to do
because if you don't have the replication or randomization,
you may get some results that you didn't expect
or didn't really show you the real picture.
So just some comments that I had there.
Great, thanks Ron.
Sarah, you were involved in a couple of those videos.
Yeah, I've really enjoyed working with producers
across the area, as well as Laura
and the rest of the On-Farm Research Network Team
and Dr. Luck.
And it's been good.
This year has been a very busy year
and we've got several different studies throughout our area.
Don Beatty's actually on the call today.
So I really appreciate his input
and being willing to do the video and everything.
But yeah, it's been fun to do variable rate seedings
and population studies,
and getting to work with producers all across the region.
It's been fascinating to see the questions that they have.
Great, you mentioned Don.
Don, if you can hear us,
you can turn your microphone on and camera on,
then we can see ya,
and see if you have any additional comments
you'd like to make.
Okay while he's working on that,
Todd, any comments yet?
Quite a couple of different videos there.
A couple of different demonstrations about nitrogen
and trying to keep nitrogen in the soil
where we apply it so it doesn't leave the field
either surface or end up in the groundwater.
Yeah, I really think our team
is working together on this nitrogen cycle.
How can we help keep environmental perspective there
so that we are doing the best we can?
Also, trying to keep people abreast about the cost.
And I really appreciated our first speaker this morning,
kind of talking about there's technology we can use,
but we have to be aware that it's gotta pay.
And that's, I think,
that the system that we're trying to work with
is we have a lot of livestock in our state,
have a lot of (indistinct) we could use.
How can we best place it
so that it's giving us the best return that way?
I guess when I talk to producers
about doin' on-farm research, they're like,
"Well, I don't have the time for that.
"You know, once I get planting and during the season,
"I'm really busy."
So Laura, or Joe, could you respond to that?
How treatments and prescriptions
could be set up ahead of time
to reduce how much time it takes
once they get into the field with a planter,
or other applicators?
Yeah, I can comment.
I think what Joe had shared
really highlights it really well,
how some of the technology that we have available
can really help streamline the process,
especially during the critical rush times
of planting and harvest.
So those prescriptions that he showed,
that's prepared in advance and loaded into the monitor.
And then when planting time rolls around
things hopefully happen pretty seamlessly
and kinda as planting is occurring.
So I'm not really taking any additional time,
especially in those cases where we have that technology,
we're not having to stop and change settings
or make additional adjustments while we're planting.
So things happen pretty seamlessly.
And then of course, for most of our studies
with yield monitoring technology
that can really speed up the process.
We're not having to necessarily stop and use a weigh wagon
and kind of slow down the harvest process.
Things can usually happen pretty much on the go.
So I think that really can be helpful,
just alleviating any additional time constraints
during those already really busy times
of planting and harvest.
So, I think the value of the information
is what you've gotta kind of weigh
against some additional time requirements
and what that information is worth to you
and your operation.
But it's been interesting to me
to see how you can take those as planted files
and match that up with a yield monitor
at the end of the year
and pull those yields out of the field,
again, without a lota time for the producer to do that,
and then be able to run the statistics on it
and see if there truly is a difference.
So, Ron, I know you've been involved for quite a few years.
Maybe what's the most interesting study
you've been involved with?
Well, one of the ones that was most interesting
is we did one applying compost tea to field
and huge applicator out there carrying the solution
of composted, or water that had compost material in it,
and applying it out there.
And this is one of them
that didn't really show the kind of results
that the farmer had hoped for,
but it was pretty interesting to study, to do that.
And yeah, when the, not the farmer,
but the industry cooperator brought the product,
he brought it in a big grain truck
and blew out some tires on the way 'cause it was so heavy.
But, yeah, it was a pretty interesting study.
Okay, Sarah, same question for you.
You've been involved for four or five, six years now also.
I think in the time I've been in extension, honestly,
I've really enjoyed working on the downforce studies
that we had video today.
That was my first time ever doing emergence counts.
So that was definitely interesting to see over time.
And we got a frost in there too.
And so that entire field,
since both studies are set up in the same field,
just to see the differences in there.
But yeah, it's been really interesting
and you can see in my face,
I had to take root digs last year on one study
that was a biological study.
And I learned a lot about root digs.
I broke a shovel in the process!
So, but yeah, it's been great.
So Sarah, a good comment there
about us coming out and collecting data,
maybe not expecting the farmer
to do all of the data collection.
We're out there with them collecting data
and then getting it analyzed as well.
So good comment there.
Todd, what's been your favorite on-farm research study?
The weak link study has probably been my favorite
'cause I've had so much feedback from that
of people that wanted to know
what would be the best timing
for when they should pull their sample.
So it gave me a chance to visit with some Piedmont people
in the person was getting in the area here too.
Okay. Laura, maybe just comment
on a soybean seeding rate studies
that have been done over the years.
I've done a couple of them out here, you know,
Lincoln and Keith County,
but a lot of those studies been done over the years.
Yeah, there have been.
I'm trying to think, maybe about 15 or 20 or more
of those studies.
So a really nice status set
that we've been able to bring all that data together then,
and kinda see what the trends are across the state
and for everyone who's participated.
So a lot of the rates that people were testing
ranged from around 90 or 100,000, up to around 180,000.
On those studies, in most cases,
we were able to find that producers could use a seeding rate
around that 110, 120
and not have any significant yield difference.
And of course reducing their seeding rate
from maybe 160 or 180,000 down to that 110 or 120,000
really can have an economic impact as well there.
So that's been pretty consistent results.
Most of those studies were done on 30 inch row spacing.
A lot of them in the central region,
as Chuck mentioned, kind of expanded some of those,
I think, last year or the last two years
into your region a little bit more.
Nathan Mueller and I worked on some in Eastern Nebraska
in kind of the Norfolk and Fall City,
or not Norfolk, Fremont,
Fremont and Fall City areas on 15 inch row spacing
trying to just take that same set up
and see if it also would get similar results
in a little different management practice,
and also got very similar results.
So across the board, really positive results
and really consistent results on those studies.
Great, thanks, that made me think of another question
for you, Laura,
about partners with the on-farm research, like TerrAvion,
providing imagery and things like that,
additional resources to producers
when they participate with plots.
Yeah, yeah, so in a lot of cases this last year,
or the last few years, we've been able to provide imagery.
TerrAvion would be an airplane imagery service,
or sometimes we look at using satellite imagery
through Planet Labs as well.
And those can be really helpful
just in multiple ways,
but one in just validating that things happened
as we intended for them to happen,
that the treatments got out
and that we're not having some substantial issues,
you know, a spot flooded out or some damage.
It's also been really helpful
in seeing different treatment differences.
So in something like the soybean studies
on some soybean row spacing studies,
we could really see differences
in row canopy closure on those,
the impact of wheel traffic, or wheel tracks from spraying
in different row spacings of soybeans.
So some of those things really have showed up nicely
in the aerial imagery.
And of course our nutrient studies as well
can really benefit from the imagery.
So things like nitrogen studies,
we're able to see treatment differences
that may occur during the growing season
that we don't have to just wait until harvest
and the yield data we can see when that nitrogen deficiency
or differences really started showing up,
and if those are specific to different areas of the field.
So, I guess, one other example related to that,
in one case we had a study
that was looking at all upfront nitrogen application
and then partially a split application with a side dress.
And in that study,
we were able to use the imagery to really tell
that in one specific soil type,
that side dress application really benefited the grower,
particularly in those areas.
So really helpful to see,
across their operations operation,
then they can kind of start to know
these are the soils that are really gonna benefit more
from having a side dress application.
These are the ones that are losing more nitrogen potentially
when I just do an upfront only application.
So that's been one kind of benefit and advantage
that we've had in doing some partnerships
like with TerrAvion,
and happy to be able to provide that
as kind of an incentive or a nice addition
for the farmers who are participating as well.
Great, just put a plug in for my area, I guess.
A year ago, we did some chelated iron
started our fertilizer treatments on soybeans
on some of the Valley areas here.
And then once you get South, you know,
down closer to the Republican River,
some iron chlorosis issues with soybeans.
So we did a study here, several of 'em.
We actually had one that showed a positive increase in yield
that paid for the treatment.
I plan to do those again next year
with the crop rotation comin' around,
they'll be back onto those fields of soybeans again.
So if you're interested in doing a study like that,
or any other studies,
get a hold of one of us or your local extension office.
They can let you know who your local crops educator is
and then we can get something set up.
If you want to do it when you're thinking, you know,
driving in the combine, harvestin'
and say, "Hey, I wonder what would happen if we do this",
give us a call.
We'll call you back in November, December,
when things slow down for you a little bit.
You can get things planned out.
So any additional comments from the presenters
or anybody of the participants want to turn their mics on
and ask a question?
I think everybody's gettin' hungry.
It's past lunchtime for me,
so I think we'll close this, draw this to a close.
Appreciate all of our participants bein' with us today,
all of our presenters
in the On-Farm Research Network session.
We will be sending out a survey probably next week.
I'll get that sent out to an email to you.
We ask you to fill that out,
let us know what you thought about the conference today.
Also, we will get all these videos posted
on a media hub channel through IAANR Media,
and we'll provide links for that as well.
So if you want to go back and watch one of the videos again,
or maybe catch one of 'em and the other sessions
you weren't able to watch,
you should be able to go to that agenda
and click on those links and check it out.
So from that, thanks to our sponsors and donors this year,
we really appreciate them.
And thanks for joining us today.
Have a good day!
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West Central Water and Crops Field Days
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