Corn Yields, Cover Crop Adoption Continue to Increase for Strip-Tillers

Despite the challenges of 2019, strip-tillers topped 200-bushel corn, while nearly two-thirds seeded cover crops, a high for the annual study.

Pictured Above: BRANCHING OUT. While the Corn Belt maintained its stronghold with more than 42% of strip-tillers located in the central part of the U.S., the plains and western states were well-represented, stretching from California to Texas

Results of the 7th Annual Strip-Till Operational Practices Benchmark study, evaluating 2019 cropping practices, saw some subtle and more significant shifts in strip-till practices. Average strip-tilled corn yields topped 200 bushels per acre for the third straight year, while soybean yields remained north of 60 bushels per acre.

More than 300 farmers from 35 states who identified themselves as strip-tillers responded to the 50-question survey from Strip-Till Farmer

In the following pages — and also within the pages of Strip-Till Farmer’s Summer 2020 issue and online at www.StripTillFarmer.com — we compare and contrast equipment setups, berm-building preferences, nutrient management strategies and more that strip-tillers are putting to work on their operations.

Once again, the core of strip-tillers came from the central U.S., with more than 42% located in the Corn Belt states, and another 20% in from the Plains or Western states. 

The demographics of strip-tillers remained relatively unchanged year-over-year, although the 5-year trend shows a gradual aging of the average strip-till farmer, with 73% being at least 45 years old in 2019, compared to 62.7% in 2015.

Some 21.6% indicated that 2019 was their first year strip-tilling, while more than 40% said they’ve been strip-tilling less than 5 years and more than 70% adopted the practice a decade ago or less…

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Jack Zemlicka

Jack Zemlicka is the Technology Editor for No-Till Farmer. He covers precision farming practices, products and trends, which can improve efficiency and productivity for no-till farmers.

He joined Lessiter Publications Ag Division in 2012 and also serves as managing editor of Strip-Till Farmer.

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