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