University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension folks are putting out a call for more farmers to take part in on-farm research projects in 2013 and beyond.
A new statewide on-farm research net was launched last winter, but the startup came too late to garner enough farmers for 2012, says Keith Glewen, Extension educator from Saunders County. "We're shooting for 70 participants in 2013 and more than double that total for 2014."
The new Nebraska On-Farm Research Network is intended as a statewide effort, focusing for now on corn.
Extension, working with the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, has identified three corn research topics of interest to corn producers—nitrogen management, irrigation water use efficiency and corn plant population, in both dryland and irrigation situations.
On-farm research in Nebraska, of course, is not new. Two regional on-farm research projects have existed for several years—the Quad County Project in York, Hamilton, Clay and Fillmore counties, and the Nebraska Soybean and Feed Grain Profitability Project in east-central Nebraska. Those two projects, which had multiple corn and soybeans studies, will end due to the new state network.
"On-farm research is valuable to the producer because the experiment is typically conducted with the producer's land, using the producer's management practices," Glewen says. "The question of whether research results are relevant to the producer's soil types and management strategies is answered immediately. And the best of all is that the producer decides what topic to research."
Farmers often say they want studies that are conducted across a whole field or at least in field-long strips.
The following UNL educators can be contacted: Keith Glewen, 402-624-8030 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Jenny Rees at 402-762-3644 or email@example.com; and Gary Zoubek, 402-362-5508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also contact the Nebraska Corn Growers Association at 402-438-6459 or go to the web at www.necga.org.