Strip-tilled silage corn yields more than no-till, zone-till

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

Strip-tilled corn yielded more than 3 tons per acre than no-tilled and zone-tilled in a 2011 research study by the University of Vermont.

While the difference was not statistically significant, strip-tilled corn yielded 16.9 tons per acre vs. 14.0 tons per acre for zone-till and 13.9 tons per acre for no-till.

When harvested in October, the strip-tilled corn had a final stand of 26,717 plants per acre, vs. 25,555 for no-till and 23,329 for zone-till. Dry-matter content was virtually identical for strip-tilled and no-tilled corn, while less for zone-tilled.

Strip-tilled: 48.7% dry matter

No-Tilled: 48.4% dry matter

Zone-tilled: 46.1% dry matter

More Detail

The University of Vermont Extension’s Northwest Crops and Soils Program conducted the corn trial at Borderview Farm in Alburgh. The soil was a rocky Benson silt loam.

The corn was planted into a winter-rye cover crop. There were four replications of the plots, which were 45 feet long. The three different tillage treatments were all planted with Mycogen TMF2Q298, an 89-day relative-maturity hybrid, at 34,000 seeds per acre on May 31.

The strip-till plots were prepared with a Blu-Jet Coulter Pro and planted with a John Deere 1750 corn planter. The no-till plots were planted with a John Deere 1750 corn planter, and the zone-till plots were planted with a White 6100 zone-till planter.

The strip-till and no-till plots each had four 30-inch rows and were 12 feet wide. The zone-till plots had six 30-inch rows and were 15 feet wide. A 10-20-20 starter fertilizer was applied at 260 pounds per acre to the strip-till and no-till plots. A liquid 9-18-9 starter fertilizer was applied at 5 gallons to the acre in the zone-till plots. A pre-plant glyphosate application was made at a rate of 2 quarts per acre to all plots.

Ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) was sidedressed at a rate of 100 pounds available nitrogen per acre on July 8, according to results from a pre-sidedress nitrate test. Populations were again counted immediately before harvesting the corn plots on Oct. 7.

The 2011 growing season included many weather extremes in Vermont. In April and May, excessive rainfall left soils saturated and, in many cases, delayed planting. June and July, in contrast, were hot and dry. July had 0.29 inches less precipitation than the 30-year average. In August, precipitation levels were extremely high (10.23 inches for the month, which is 6.38 inches above average). Tropical Storm Irene brought severe wind and record rainfall.

Strip-Till Reduces Yield Drag

Corn silage quality was not affected by tillage method in this trial. Trial averages were comparable to corn grown using conventional tillage practices.

The harvest population was very low — 25,500 plants per acre — compared to the initial seeding rate of 34,000 plants per acre. Reduced plant populations may have been a result of poor germination. Reduced tillage fields have been noted to be colder and wetter as compared to conventional tillage. These environmental variables could easily cause reduced populations.

The average yield was 14.9 tons per acre, which is low compared to yields of corn with similar relative maturity planted conventional tillage. This indicates that corn yields may be reduced in first years of transition to reduced tillage practices.

Although not significant, it does appear that strip-till systems may help alleviate some yield drag often seen when transitioning to reduced tillage. Additional years of reduced tillage trials in this area will help determine if yield drag will be reduced as soil health improves as a result of this practice.


Prev 1 2 Next All



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


Demco 1400 Grain Cart

Demco offers a 1400 bushel grain cart to provide unmatched efficiency and operator convenience. In addition to the large 1400 ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form