Illinois study shows yield advantage with strip-till

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Stover accumulation has been shown to reduce corn grain yields in continuous corn production systems leading to suggestions that high corn prices, which result in more continuous corn production, will also could result in widespread implementation of stover removal practices.

However, effects of stover removal on soil fertility requirements and soil organic matter levels is an on-going concern and must be considered when growers decide to remove stover from continuous corn fields. In this project, Fred Below, Laura Gentry and associates assessed the effectiveness of stover removal for increasing corn yields in high-yielding and conventional environments as well as nutrient management consequences of stover removal.

High yielding environments consisted of higher plant populations, increased nutrient fertilizer application, insect protection traits, and application of fungicides.

Conventional environments consisted of more common planting populations, less intense fertilizer applications, no insect protection traits (a granular soil insecticide was applied at planting in both environments), and no fungicide application.

Additionally, three residue management treatments (crop rotation, partial stover removal, and tillage) were applied at two levels (9th-year continuous corn vs. long-term corn-soybean rotation, stover retained vs. 50% stover removed, and conventional-tillage vs. strip-tillage) to assess their individual and combined effects on the input treatments (plant population, nutrients, traits, and fungicide) and corn yields. In this summary we are reporting the results from 2013.

click image to zoomYellow: Corn/Soybean rotation with all practices employed Orange: Same, without P-K-S fertility added Blue: Better hybrid taken out, standard hybrid selected. Strip-tillage is a relatively new reduced tillage system in the Central Corn Belt that protects soil from erosion, retains plant-available water, maintains soil structure and retains soil organic matter, and allows banding of fertilizers for more efficient plant uptake. Strip-tillage can substantially reduce soil compaction associated with multiple seedbed field operations; this also represents cost savings as a result of eliminating fuel use, labor, and equipment wear. These three agricultural management practices – crop rotation, residue management, and reduced tillage – were tested for their individual and cumulative effects on agricultural sustainability parameters and corn yields in combination with the omission treatment design previously employed to investigate high yield management factors for corn production.

(Above Executive Summary provided by Laura Gentry, PhD.)

Comments/Observations by Orthman Soil Science Agronomist, Michael Petersen:

As we observe and evaluate this data set that Gentry and Below studied several key points that come up before growers minds as they evaluate the validity of strip-tillage, rotational changes, hybrids, fertility programs even in a year like 2013 when the spring was wet and planting was delayed.

Please note in the supplied table the colored cells; yellow highlighted cells depict in the Corn-Soybean rotation portion of the Gentry-Below studies in the High Tech plots in which all practices are employed, incl: P-K-S etc fertilizer added precisely, high-sustainable N rates employed, best hybrids (with insect, herbicide resistant, day length, etc), higher seeding populations, and fungicides applied at premium time.

In orange cells the additional P-K-S etc fertility is subtracted.

In the blue cells the better hybrid selection is taken out and standard hybrid selected.

Much the same as what we have observed at the Orthman Research Farm near Lexington, Nebraska – precision tillage offers a slightly better yield advantage, which along with savings in fuel, time, and other costs – improves profit margins.

Lastly, in the last line of the table, precision tillage results in the averages Continuous Corn/Retained with Strip-Tillage compared to Conventional Tillage (second left column) an advantage leans to Strip-Till.


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Aluminum Grain Trailers

Maurer Manufacturing offers a complete line of high quality aluminum grain trailers. Manufactured in Spencer, Iowa, Maurer aluminum grain trailers ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form