Haishun Yang

Haishun Yang

Associate Professor

Area of Expertise: Plant Physiology, Weed, and Production Systems

B.S. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, China Agricultural University, 1984

M.S. Soil and Water Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1993

Ph.D. Soil Science, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1996

Area of Focus

Crop Modeling

Research Interests

  • Development of computerized decision support tools for crop management
  • Modeling of crop growth and yield
  • Modeling of soil nutrient management and carbon cycling
  • Modeling of life cycle analysis of bioenergy systems on energy balance and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Field research on crop water use efficiency

Teaching Interests

  • Theoretical crop production ecology
  • Simulation modeling of crop growth and cropping systems

Extension Area of Emphasis

  • Applications of simulation model-based decision support tools for crop management, particularly for irrigation and nutrients

Major Project Activities

  • Yield gap atlas
  • Adding crop staging and grain drydown prediction to the Hybrid-Maize model
  • Adding soil water balance and water limited growth to the SoySim model
  • Developing corn-soybean cropping system model for extension, teaching, and research


Google Scholar publication list

Simulation model software and online decision support tools

  • Yang, HS, Chengchou Han, etc. 2015. CornSoyWater: online decision support tool for irrigation corn and soybean
  • Yang, HS and Torrion, J. 2013. Weather Interpolator. University of Nebraska (version 2012.1).
  • Yang, HS; Setiyono, T; Walters, DT; Cassman, KG and Dobermann, A. 2015. Maize-N: Nitrogen Rate Recommendation for Irrigated Maize. University of Nebraska (version 2008, 2014, 2015).
  • Liska, AJ; Yang, HS; Bremer, V; Walters, DT; Kenney, D; Tracy, P; Erickson, G; Kolpfenstein, T and Cassman, KG. Biofuel Energy Systems Simulator (The BESS model, www.bess.unl.edu), Ver. 2007.1.0, 2008.2.0, & 2008.3.0, University and Nebraska.
  • Yang, HS; Dobermann, A; Cassman KG and Walters, DT. Hybrid-Maize: A Simulation Model for Corn Growth and Yield. Ver. 2004, 2005 & 2006, 2014, 2015. Nebraska Cooperative Extension CD9, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Yang, HS; Dobermann, A; Cassman KG and Walters, DT. 2006. WeatherAid: A software for weather data management. University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
  • Yang, HS; Dobermann, A; Cassman, KG and Walters, DT. 2004. DK-C&N: A Simulation Model for Carbon and Nitrogen Mineralization. University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Refereed Journals

  • Nanyan Deng, Patricio Grassini, Haishun Yang, Jianliang Huang, Kenneth G Cassman, Shaobing Peng. 2019. Closing yield gaps for rice self-sufficiency in China. Nature communications. 10, 1725.
  • Liben, FM; Wortmann, CS; Yang, H; Lindquist, JL; Tadesse, T; and Wegary, D. 2018. Crop model and weather data generation evaluation for conservation agriculture in Ethiopia. Field Crops Research. 228, 122-134.
  • Anderson, R; Keshwani, D; Guru, A; Yang, H; Irmak, S; and Subbiah, J. 2018. An integrated modeling framework for crop and biofuel systems using the DSSAT and GREET models. Environmental Modelling & Software. 108, 40-50.
  • Zhan, M; Liska, AJ; Nguy-Robertson, AL; Suyker, AE; Pelton, MP; and Yang, H. 2018. Modeled and Measured Ecosystem Respiration in Maize-Soybean Systems Over 10 Years. Agro J. 110, 1-10
  • Rizzo, G; Juan IR; Archontoulis, SV; Yang, HS; and Grassini, P. 2018. Do shallow water tables contribute to high and stable maize yields in the US Corn Belt? Global Food Security. 18, 27-34
  • Tollenaar, M; Dzotsi, KA; Kumudini, S; Boone, KE; Chen, K; Hatfield, JL; Jones, JW; Lizaso, JI; Nielsen, RL; Thomison, P; Timlin, D; Valentinuz, OR; Vyn, T; Yang, HS. In Jerry L. Hatfield, Mannava VK Sivakumar John H. Prueger editors. 2018. Modeling the Effects of Genotypic and Environmental Variation on Maize Phenology: The Phenology Subroutine of the AgMaize Crop Model. Agroclimatology: Linking Agriculture to Climate, Agronomy Monograph 60
  • Liu, Y; Yang HS; Li Y; Yan H; and Li J. 2018. Estimation of irrigation requirements for drip-irrigated maize in a sub-humid climate. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 17, 677-692
  • Yang, HS; Grassini, P; Cassman, KG; Aiken, RM; and Coyne, PI. 2017. Improvements to the Hybrid-Maize model for simulating maize yields in harsh rainfed environments. Field Crops Research. 204, 180-190.
  • Yang HS. 2017. Review on modeling approaches of effects of temperature, photoperiod, and their interactions on soybean reproductive development. Nguyen, HT (ed.), Achieving sustainable cultivation of soybeans. Burleigh Dodds Scientific Publishing, 239-264.
  • Meng, Q; Cui, Z; Yang, HS; Zhang, F; and Chen, X. 2017. Establishing high-yielding maize system for sustainable intensification in China. Advances in Agronomy. 148, 85-109
  • Guilpart, N; Grassini, P; Van Wart, J; Yang, HS; van Ittersum, M; van Bussel, L; Wolf, J; Claessens, L; Leenars, J; Cassman, KG. 2017. Rooting for food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. Environmental Research Letters. 12, 114036.
  • Yang, L; Yang, HS; Li, Y; Yan, H; and Li, J. 2017. Modeling effects of plastic film mulching on irrigated maize yield and water use efficiency in sub-humid Northeast China. International Journal of Agriculture and biological Engineering. 10, 69-84
  • Gibson, KEB; Yang, HS; Franz, T; Hanford, K; Eisenhauer, D; Gates, JB; Nasta, P; Farmaha, BS; and Grassini, P. 2018. Assessing explanatory factors for variation in on-farm irrigation in US maize-soybean systems. Agricultural Water Management. 197, 34-40
  • Morris, TF; Murrell, TS; Beegle, DB; Camberato, JJ; Ferguson, RB; Grove, J; Ketterings, Q; Kyveryga, PM; Laboski, CAM; McGrath, JM; Meisinger, JJ; Melkonian, J; Moebius-Clune, BN; Nafziger, ED; Osmond, D; Sawyer, JE; Scharf, PC; Smith, W; Spargo, JT; van Es, HM; and Yang, HS. 2017. Strengths and limitations of nitrogen rate recommendations for corn and opportunities for improvement. Agro J. 110, 1-37.
  • Liu, B; Chen, X; Meng, Q; Yang, HS; and van Wart, J. 2017. Estimating maize yield potential and yield gap with agro-climatic zones in China: Distinguish irrigated and rainfed conditions. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 239, 108-117.
  • de Groot, H; Adimo, O; Claessens, L; Van Wart, J; van Bussel, LGJ; Grassini, P; Wolf, J; Guilpart, N; Boogaard, H; van Oort, PAJ; Yang, HS; van Ittersum, MK; and Cassman, KG. 2017. Kenya public weather processed by the Global Yield Gap Atlas project. Open Data Journal for Agricultural Research. 3, 1-3.
  • Aegerter, C; Wang, J; Ge, C; Irmak, S; Oglesby, R; Wardlow, B; Yang, HS; You, J; and Shulski, M. 2017. Mesoscale Modeling of the Meteorological Impacts of Irrigation during the 2012 Central Plains Drought. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. 56, 1259-1283.
  • Grassini, P; Pittelkow, CM; Cassman, KG; Yang, HS; Archontoulis, S; Licht, M; Lamkey, KR; Ciampitti, IA; Coulter, JA; Brouder, SM; Volenec, JJ; Guindin-Garcia, N. 2017. Robust spatial frameworks for leveraging research on sustainable crop intensification. Global Food Security. 14, 18-22
  • Cera; JC; Streck, NA; Yang HS; Zanon AJ; de Paula GM; Lago I. 2017. Extending the evaluation of the SoySim model to soybean cultivars with high maturation groups. Field Crops Research, 201, 162-174.
  • van Ittersum, MK; van Bussel, LGJ; Wolf, J; Grassini, P; van Wart, JP; Guilpart, N; Claessens, L; de Groot, H; Wiebe, K; Mason-D'Croz, D; Yang, HS; Boogaard, H; van Oort, PAJ; van Loon, MP; Saito, K, Adimo, O; Adjei-Nsiah, S; Agali, A; Bala, A; Chikowo, R; Kaizzi, K; Kouressy, M; Makoi, JHJR; Ouattara, K; Tesfaye, K; Cassman, KG. 2016. Can sub-Saharan Africa feed itself? PANS 113, 14964-14969.
  • Espe, MB; Cassman, KG; Yang, HS; Guilpart, N; Grassini, P; van Wart, J; Anders, M; Beighley, D; Harrell, D; Linscombe, S; McKenzie, K; Mutters, R; Wilson, LT; Linquist, BA. 2016. Yield gap analysis of US rice production systems shows opportunities for improvement. Field Crops Research. 196, 276-283
  • Espe, MB; Yang HS; Cassman, KG; Guilpart, N; Sharifi, H; Linquist, BA. 2016. Estimating yield potential in temperate high-yielding, direct-seeded US rice production systems. Field Crops Research. 193, 123-132.
  • Carr, T; Yang HS; and Ray, C. 2016. Temporal Variations of Water Productivity in Irrigated Corn: An Analysis of Factors Influencing Yield and Water Use across Central Nebraska. PLOS One. 11, e0161944-DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0161944.
  • Farmaha, BS; Lobell, DB; Boone, KE; Cassman, KG; Yang HS; Grassini, P. Contribution of persistent factors to yield gaps in high-yield irrigated maize. 2016. Field Crops Research. 186, 124-132
  • Farmaha, BS; Eskridge, KM; Cassman, KG; Specht, JE; Yang HS; Grassini, P. 2016. Rotation Impact on On-Farm Yield and Input-Use Efficiency in High-Yield Irrigated Maize-Soybean Systems. Agron. J. 108, 1-9.
  • Morell, FJ; Yang HS; Cassman, KG; van Wart, J; Elmore, RW; Licht, M; Coulter, JA; Ciampitti, IA; Pittelkow, CM; Brouder, SM. 2016. Can crop simulation models be used to predict local to regional maize yields and total production in the US Corn Belt? Field Crops Research. 192, 1-12.
  • Meng, Q; Chen, X; Lobell, D; Cui, Z; Zhang, Y; Yang HS; Zhang F. 2016. Growing sensitivity of maize to water scarcity under climate change. Nature - Scientific Reports. 6:19605
  • Thompson, L. J., Ferguson, R. B., Kitchen, N., Frazen, D. W., Mamo, M., Yang, H., and Schepers, J. S. 2015. Model and Sensor-Based Recommendation Approaches for In-Season Nitrogen Management in Corn. Agron.J. 107, 2020-2030.
  • Liu, Xing, Andresen, Jeff, Yang, Haishun, and Niyogi, Dev. 2015. Calibration and Validation of the Hybrid-Maize Crop Model for Regional Analysis and Application over the U.S. Corn Belt. Earth Interactions. 19, 1-16.
  • Grassini, Patricio, van Bussel, Lenny G. J., van Wart, Justin, Wolf, Joost, Claessens, Lieven, Yang, Haishun, Boogaard, Hendrik, de Groot, Hugo, van Ittersum, Martin K., and Cassman, Kenneth G. 2015. How good is good enough? Data requirements for reliable crop yield simulations and yield-gap analysis. Field Crops Research. 177, 49-63.
  • van Bussel, Lenny G. J., Grassini, Patricio, van Wart, Justin, Wolf, Joost, Claessens, Lieven, Yang, Haishun, Boogaard, Hendrik, de Groot, Hugo, Saito, Kazuki, Cassman, Kenneth G., and van Ittersum, Martin K. 2015. From field to atlas: Upscaling of location-specific yield gap estimates. Field Crops Research. 177, 98-108.
  • Van Wart, Justin, Grassini, Patricio, Yang, Haishun, Claessens, Lieven, Jarvis, Andrew, and Cassman, Kenneth G. 2015. Creating long-term weather data from thin air for crop simulation modeling. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 209, 49-58.
  • Grassini, Patricio, Torrion, Jessica A., Yang, Haishun S., Rees, Jennifer, Andersen, Daryl, Cassman, Kenneth G., and Specht, James E. 2015. Soybean yield gaps and water productivity in the western US Corn Belt. Field Crops Research. 179, 150-163.
  • Yang, HS and Grassini, P. 2014. Quantifying and Managing Corn Water Use Efficiencies under Irrigated and Rainfed Conditions in Nebraska Using the Hybrid-Maize Simulation Model. Advances in Agricultural Systems Modeling. 5, 113-138.
  • Hou, P; Cui, Z; Bu, L; Yang, HS; Zhang, F; and Li, S. 2014. Evaluation of a Modified Hybrid-Maize Model Incorporating a Newly Developed Module of Plastic Film Mulching. Crop Sci. 54, 2796-2804.
  • Grassini, P; Torrion, Jessica A; Cassman, KG; Yang, HS; and Specht, JE. 2014. Drivers of spatial and temporal variation in soybean yield and irrigation requirements in the western US Corn Belt. Field Crops Research. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2014.04.005
  • Kumudini, S; Andrade, FH; Boote, KJ; Brown, GA; Dzotsi, KA; Edmeades, GO; Gocken, T; Goodwin, M; Halter, AL; Hammer, GL; Hatfield, JL; Jones, JW; Kemanian, AR; Kim, SH; Kiniry, J; Lizaso, JI; Nendel, C; Nielsen, RL; Parent, B; Stockle, CO; Tardieu, F; Thomison, PR; Timlin, DJ; Vyn, TJ; Wallach, D; Yang, HS; and Tollenaar, M. 2014. Predicting Maize Phenology: Intercomparison of Functions for Developmental Response to Temperature. Agron. J. 106, 2087-2097.
  • Liska, A; Yang, HS; Milner, M; Goddard, S; Zhu, H; Blanco-Canqui, H; Pelton, MP; Fang XX; and Suyker, AE. 2014. Biofuels from Crop Residue Can Reduce Soil Carbon and Increase CO2 Emissions. Nature Climate Change, 4, 398-401.
  • Liska, AJ; Yang, HS; Pelton, MP and Suyker, AE. 2014. Reply to 'CO2 emissions from crop residue-derived biofuels'. Nature Clim.Change. 4, 934-935.
  • Irmak, S; Burgert, MJ; Yang, HS; Cassman, KG; Walters, DT; Rathje, WR; Payero, JO; Grassini, P; Kuzila, MS; Brunkhorst, KJ; Eisenhauer, DE; Kranz, WL; VanDeWalle, B; Rees, JM; Zoubek, GL; Shapiro, CA; Teichmeier, GJ. 2012. Large-scale on-farm implementation of soil moisture-based irrigation management strategies for increasing maize water productivity. Transactions of the ASABE, 55, 881-894
  • Setiyono, TD; Yang, HS; Walters, DT; Cassman, KG; Dobermann, A; Ferguson, R; Roberts, D; Lyon, DJ and Clay, D. 2011. Maize-N: A Decision Tool for Nitrogen Management in Maize. Agronomy Journal, 103, 1-8.
  • Grassini, P; Yang, HS; Irmak, S; Thorburn, J; Burr, J and Cassman, KG. 2011. High-yield irrigated maize in the Western U.S. Corn Belt: II. Irrigation management and crop water productivity. Field Crops Research. 120, 133-141.
  • Liska, A; Yang, HS; Bremer, VR; Klopfenstein, TJ; Walters, DT; Erickson, GE and Cassman, KG. 2009. Improvements in Life Cycle Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Corn-Ethanol. Journal of Industrial Ecology. 13, 58-74.
  • Grassini, P; Yang, HS and Cassman, KG. 2009. Limits to maize productivity in Western Corn-Belt: A simulation analysis for fully irrigated and rainfed conditions. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 149, 1254-1265.
  • Yang, HS; Dobermann, A; Cassman, KG and Walters, DT. 2006. Features, Applications, and Limitations of the Hybrid-Maize Simulation Model. Agronomy Journal. 98, 737-748.
  • Yang, HS. 2006. Resource management, soil fertility and sustainable crop production: experiences of China. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 116, 27-33.
  • Yang, HS; Dobermann, A; Lindquist, JL; Walters, DT and Cassman, KG. 2004. Hybrid-Maize - a maize simulation model that combines different crop modeling approaches. Field Crop Res. 87, 131-154.


  • Liska, AJ; Yang, HS; Walters, DT; Klopfenstein, T; Erickson, G; Bremer, V; Koelsch, R; Kenney, D; Tracy, P and Cassman, KG. 2007 & 2008. User Guide of the BESS model. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Yang, HS; Dobermann, A; Walters, DT and Cassman, KG. 2006. User's Guide of the Hybrid-Maize model. Nebraska Cooperative Extension CD9, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE. 101 pages.
  • Gaunt, JL; Sohi, SP; Yang, HS; Mahieu, N and Arah, JRM. 2001. A procedure for isolating soil organic matter fractions suitable for modeling. p90-95. In R.M. Rees, B.C. Ball, C.D. Campbell and C.A. Watson (eds): Sustainable Management of Soil Organic Matter. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.
  • Gaunt, JL; Sohi, SP; Arah, JRM; Mahieu, N; Yang, HS and Powlson, DS. 2000. A physical soil fractionation scheme to obtain organic matter fractions suitable for modeling. p89-99. In G.J.D. Kirk and D.C. Olk. (eds) Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics in Flooded Soils. International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos.
  • Yang, HS. 1996. Modeling organic matter mineralization and exploring options for organic matter management in arable farming in Northern China. Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-5485-641-6, 159 pages.

Conference Proceedings, Industry Journals

  • Yang, HS, Setiyono, T; Walters, DT; Cassman, KG and Dobermann, A. Maize-N model - A systematic and mechanistic approach for N fertilizer recommendation on maize. 2008. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Plant Nutrition Management in Sustainable Agriculture. Oct 13-16, Nanchang, China.
  • Liska, AJ; Yang, H; Bremer, V; Erickson, G; Klopfenstein, T; Walters, DT and Cassman, KG. Improvements in Life-Cycle Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Corn-Ethanol. 2008 Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Midwest Ag Energy Summit, Chicago, IL, December 15.
  • Yang, HS; Dobermann, A; Cassman, KG and Walters, DT. 2007. Developing crop simulation model to suit diverse users: example of Hybrid-Maize software. Proceedings of PMA06, Nov 13-17, Beijing, pp175-180.
  • Liska, A; Cassman, KG and Yang, HS. 2007. Energy and Environmental Contributions of Corn-Ethanol. 2007 Indiana CCA Conference Proceedings.
  • Yang, HS; Dobermann, A; Cassman, KG and Walters, DT. 2005. Hybrid-Maize - A simulation model for improving corn management. North Central Extension -Industry Soil Fertility Conference. 2005. Vol. 21. 157-167, Des Moines, IA.
  • Yang, HS; Dobermann, A; Cassman, KG; Hubbard, KG; Arkebauer, TJ; Verma, SB and Walters, DT. 2004. Test of the hybrid-maize model for simulation of soil moisture dynamics and maize response to water deficit. p83-84. In Proceedings of the Biological Systems Simulation Conference. March 8-10, 2004. Gainesville, Florida.
  • Yang, HS; Dobermann, A; Cassman, KG and Walters, DT. 2004. DK-C&N: a simulation model for C and N mineralization using the approach of dynamic rate constant. p85-86. In Proceedings of the Biological Systems Simulation Conference. March 8-10, 2004. Gainesville, Florida.
  • Yang, HS and Dobermann, A. 2004. What's the corn yield potential for 2004? Crop Watch, Issue of Aug 13, 2004. IANR, UNL.
  • Yang, HS; Cassman, KG; Dobermann, A; Walters, DT; Lindquist, JL and Arkebauer, JL. 2003. Comparison and hybridization of two approaches for maize simulation. p 20-21. In Proceedings of the Integrated Biological Systems Conferences. April 14-16, 2003, San Antonio, Texas.
  • Yang, HS; Cassman, KG; Dobermann, A; Walters, DT; Lindquist, JL and Arkebauer, TJ. 2003. Software demonstration: Hybrid-Maize. Integrated Biological Systems Conference. April 14-16, 2003, San Antonio, Texas.