Source: Beck’s Hybrids

Feb. 10, 2011  — First-year strip-tilled corn produced the highest yield of nearly 185 bushels per acre, with no-till at 178.2 bushels per acre in a 2010 Beck’s Hybrids crop rotation tillage study conducted in Illinois.

Continuous corn yielded on average nearly 54 bushels per acre less than first-year corn, a common trend that persisted in 2010. However, conventional tillage corn-after-corn out yielded the strip-till and no-till by 4.6 and 17.1 bushels per acre, respectively.

In 2009, corn residue after the fall and winter was unusually well preserved into the spring of 2010. This could have contributed to the conventional tillage assisting in decomposition of old residue and helping to shorten allelopathic conditions.

In soybeans, conventional-till offered the highest yield at 67.6 bushels per acre, with strip-till lagging behind by only 3.4 bushels per acre.

No-till soybeans struggled in this study with lower yields nearly 8 bushels per acre. less than conventional till. This may be attributed to poor seedbed conditions as a result of the wet harvest conditions endured in the fall of 2009.

Tillage                   %Moisture                Bushels Per Acre

Corn After Corn 
Conventional Till     18.4;                                 133.4 
No-Till:                    18.2;                                 116.3 
Strip-Till                  19.0;                                 128.8 
Average:                 18.5;                                 126.2 
Corn After Soybeans 
Conventional Till     18.9;                                 176.8 
No-Till:                    19.8;                                 178.2 
Strip-Till:                 19.5;                                 184.8 
Average:                 19.4;                                 179.9

Soybeans After Corn 
Convent. tillage      13.4;                                  67.6 
No-Till:                   13.2;                                   59.7 
Strip-Till:                13.3;                                   64.2 
Average:                13.3;                                   63.8

Beck’s Crop Rotation Tillage Study, Central Illinois, 2010

April: 2.9 inches of rain.

Planted: May 5; Harvested: October 1.

Seeding Rate: 35,000, corn; 165,000, soybeans.

Rows: Twelve 30-inch rows.

Herbicide: 1.75 pints Guardsman Max; 32 ounces of Glyphos Extra.

May 4.0 inches of rain.

June 8.7 inches of rain.

July 2.1 inches of rain.

August 1.8 inches of rain.

Total rainfall: 19.5 inches

Tillage methods in the 2010 study included strip-till, no-till and conventional-till. Conventional-till consisted of a disc-chisel plow in the fall followed by a McFarlane Reel Disk and a field cultivator pass in the spring. Strip-till was completed with a Remlinger strip-till toolbar in the fall, while no-till consisted of a JD 7200 planter equipped with no-till coulters and residue cleaners.