Making dollars and cents at Northeast

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by jamesc  6/23/2017 3:25:00 PM --  NORFOLK, NE – The agriculture department at Northeast Community College is working on a project this summer to connect plant emergence to crop yield results. The venture, on the College Farm on the Norfolk campus, will enhance learning outcomes for both summer and fall classes.

“Students need to understand the value of crop emergence in terms of dollars and cents,” said Tara Smydra, associate dean of agriculture, math and science at Northeast. “We are working on this applied research project in collaboration with Justin Koehler, a seedsman for Channel Seeds, owner of Koehler Seeds, co-owner of Precision Point LLC, and a Northeast ag graduate, to determine how consistency of emergence affects yield.”

Smydra said crop emergence in the small plot is monitored and flagged every 24 hours for four consecutive days. She said studies show that uneven emergence in a corn crop can lower total yield by as much as nine-percent.

“This could have substantial effect on a producer’s bottom line.”

Northeast Community College plans to use utilize results of the project with students in agronomy-based programs, as well as precision and mechanized ag programs.

“Northeast students have already mapped the area and made suggestions on how to achieve a more uniform stand with consistence emergence,” Smydra said. “The crop will continue to be monitored until harvest and students will be using the data to make better decisions for our hybrid selection, as well as planting and planter adjustments for future crops.”




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Tara Smydra, associate dean of agriculture, math and science, at Northeast Community College, explains a crop emergence study on the College Farm to members of the Northeast Board of Governors and administrators.

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