On-farm research collaborations: North Central Kansas case study

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K-State Research and Extension state specialists, area agronomists, and county/district agents are seeking to collaborate with producers in establishing on-farm and large-scale research plots again in 2015. The goal is to establish a network of on-farm research collaborators with the main purpose of providing research results on production practices at the local scale.

During the 2014 growing season, we collaborated with several farmers in performing on-farm seeding rate research trials in corn, soybean, and grain sorghum. Here is one example a study done in 2014, and how this information can assist farmers.

Experimental layout:




Field variability:

Strip trial, plant population:


Position of experimental layout in the field:


Optimum Plant Population:

Agronomically, the optimum plant population for maximizing corn yields in this study was close to 30,500 plants/acre. The agronomically optimum plant population did not coincide with the economically optimum plant population, however. The population that maximized net profits was 28,300 plants/acre (2,200 plants/acre less than the agronomic optimum population).


Assuming a price of $3.50 per bushel for corn and a cost of $280 (80,000 kernels) per bag of corn seed, cutting back the population by 2,200 plants/acre or 2,500-3,000 seeds/acre (assuming 80-90% seed emergence) could represent a seed savings of close to $10 per acre.

The on-farm project has as a goal of establishing a network of on-farm research trials with the purpose of fine-tuning crop production recommendations to local environments.

Farmers interested in participating in this project can get more information by directly contacting Ignacio Ciampitti (Coordinator, K-State On-Farm Project) at 785-410-9354 or ciampitti@ksu.edu or by contacting their county Extension Agricultural Agents or Area Extension Agronomists -- Stu Duncan, Northeast Area; Lucas Haag, Northwest Area; and Doug Shoup, Southeast Area.

K-State Research and Extension agents involved in this project in 2014:

Kim Larson, Kansas River Valley District Agent
Email: kclarson@ksu.edu

Tom Maxwell, Central Kansas District Agent
Email: tmaxwell@ksu.edu

Sandra Wick, Post Rock District Agent
Email: kclarson@ksu.edu


Ignacio Ciampitti, Crop Production and Cropping Systems Specialist, K-State On-Farm Research Project Coordinator and KARTA collaborator