Soybean Harvest

Play a Role in Minimizing the Soybean Yield Gap

Once again, Soybean and Wheat Extension Specialist, Shawn Conley, and his team at the University of Wisconsin Extension are digging into ways soybean farmers can minimize yield gaps. This time they need your help.

Conley recently sent out a call for farmer collaborators to participate in a new project entitled “Boots on the Ground: Validation of  Benchmarking Process Through an Integrated On-Farm Partnership.” The goal for this project is to compare the yield and profit for earlier soybean planting dates.

During a previous 3-year North Central Soybean Research Program-funded benchmarking project, the team found there is an average 20-30% gap between current farmer yield and potential yield as determined by climate, soil and genetics. However, they also found there are a number of agronomic practices that, if fine-tuned, could help close this gap.

Because earlier planting dates have been shown to produce higher yields than later planted soybean, this project asks participants to plant soybeans on two different planting dates: at the end of April and two to three weeks later. The team will then analyze the yield data following harvest using a well-calibrated yield monitor.

Participating in this project will help the team gather necessary data to further identify solutions to reduce the average yield gap across the Midwest. Farmers who participate will also gain a detailed analysis of the data from their own farms and become part of a network to share ideas on soybean BMP’s.

If your farm falls within the shaded areas on the map below, the team wants you involved! If you’re interested in collaborating, check out the full protocol.

Boots on the Ground Research Project Map

To get involved, contact Shawn Conley at 608-800-7056 or and/or Senior Research Agronomist, John Gaska, at 608-220-2693 or