A team of North Dakota State University Extension Service agronomists and county Extension agents is embarking on a three-year statewide project aimed at generating baseline producer data on current soybean management practices in North Dakota.
The project goal is to identify the key factors that prevent North Dakota soybean producers from obtaining yields that potentially should be possible on their respective farms. The term used for the difference between the yield that is possible on their fields each year and what yield they actually achieve is called a “yield gap.”
The goal is to use survey data to help producers get soybean yields that in the future will be closer to the potential soybean yields that are possible on those fields, once the survey team identifies what production system factors are holding back current soybean yields.
“The team intends to involve soybean producers in each of the soybean-growing counties in North Dakota,” says Hans Kandel, NDSU Extension agronomist and project coordinator. “We would like to know where the soybean fields are located, the yield of the soybean crop grown and as much information as we can obtain about the crop management and field.”
Kandel continued, “Information gathered from a large number of soybean producers will help us determine what production factors might be the most important among producers relative to limiting yields of soybean. We anticipate that producers may best remember yields and related agronomic data for the 2015 season because they just harvested those fields. However, we would very much appreciate additional data from fields planted with soybeans in 2014.”
Data from producers will be kept confidential and only aggregated data will be presented in the results. Participating growers will obtain the survey report data and will be able to evaluate their farming practices with the established benchmark figures obtained from the survey. During the 2016 season, the survey teams also will conduct actual field observations.