Farmers are needed for a regional and state soybean yield benchmarking survey in order to identify what is causing yield gaps on your farm.

Derek Rapp and Emerson Nafziger from the University of Illinois are part of a regional team participating in a Soybean Yield Benchmarking project. The goals of the project include:

  • Generating baseline farmer data on current soybean management practices.
  • Identify key factors that prohibit soybean farmers from obtaining yields that are potentially possible on their respective farms.

The researchers are looking for farmers in Illinois to participate in a statewide soybean yield benchmarking project, which is part of a larger regional effort involving 10 states. The project is funded by the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP). The NCSRP receives funds from the United Soybean Board and individual state soybean boards like the Illinois Soybean Association.

Rapp explained that the goal of the project is to gather production information that will help them examine how soil, weather and management interact to affect soybean yields. The information in Illinois will be combined with information for other states to draw regional conclusions. The University of Illinois’ role is to gather information from at least 500 fields per year for the past production years of 2014 and 2015 and future production years of 2016 and 2017.

Rapp and Nafziger are asking for basic management practices and yield, and requesting that each producer consider contributing four production fields. “You can help us locate fields in any way that best suits you; where the field is located in regard to county road intersections, sketching it in a section or providing a plat map page with field locations marked. We guarantee confidentiality of the information. No one will ever match your fields with your name among the thousands of other fields. And we aren’t asking for your name or contact information, just the field location and relevant information. We’ll shred anything you send after your fields are located.”

Forms can be completed, scanned and emailed to Or you may send the completed form to NCSRP Soybean Project, Department of Crop Sciences, 1102 South Goodwin, Urbana, IL 61801. Please click on the links to download the 2014 and 2015 forms. We will be making the 2016 forms available after the season ends. If you have questions, contact Emerson Nafziger at 217-333-9658 or by email at

The goal of the project is to gather information to help identify limiting factors that may be preventing farmers from reaching a field’s yield potential.

Agronomist Dr. Daniel Davidson posts blogs on agronomy-related topics. Feel free to contact him at

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About the Author: Dan Davidson

Soybean agronomist Daniel Davidson, Ph.D., posts blogs on topics related to soybean agronomy. Feel free to contact him at or ring him at 402-649-5919.