Corn no-tilled into soybean stubble beat strip-tilled corn-on-corn by an average of 42 bushels per acre under irrigation and dryland conditions in a 2011 study Monsanto conducted at its Learning Center in Gothenburg, Neb.

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The averages were for six corn hybrids, under irrigated and dryland treatments in the research, which is part of Monsanto’s goal of achieving corn yields that average 300 bushels per acre.

Researchers said weather early in the growing season, and near pollination, wasn’t conducive to reaching the goal of 300-bushel-per-acre corn.

There were also challenges in planting corn in the strips that likely reduced yields due to poor seed-to-soil contact and seedbed issues that affected plant growth.

The irrigated no-tilled corn yielded 230 bushels per acre vs. 169 bushels per acre for strip-tilled corn. The dryland, no-tilled corn yielded 192 bushels per acre vs. 172 bushels per acre for the strip-tilled corn.

The hybrids in the study had either Genuity VT Triple Pro or YieldGard VT Triple traits. Plant populations were 38,000 to 40,000 in irrigated and 26,000 in dryland.

The corn was planted May 5, 2011. In the study, 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre was applied pre-plant, 100 pounds per acre at V6 and 60 pounds per acre at tasseling. Sixty pounds per acre of phosphorus was applied; Headline fungicide was applied at tasseling.

Hybrids Matter

There were distinct differences in the yields of the six different hybrids in the study. Hybrid H1 had the highest yield in corn no-tilled into soybean stubble. It also maintained similar or more yield than hybrids H2 and H3 in strip-till.

The yield penalty for strip-tilling into corn residue was greater for Hybrid H2 (84 bushels per acre less) than Hybrid 1 (54 bushels per acre less) and Hybrid 3 (45 bushels per acre less).

In dryland treatments, hybrid H5 had the best yield in both tillage crop-rotation tests. Additionally, hybrid H5 had a smaller yield penalty than hybrid H4 for being strip-tilled into corn residue.

Hybrid H6 yielded slightly more in strip-tilled corn residue vs. corn no-tilled into soybean stubble. In corn no-tilled into soybean stubble, hybrid H6 yielded 19 and 43 bushels per acre less than hybrids H4 and H5, respectively.