RESEARCH ROWS. No-till corn data from Beck’s Practical Farm Research sites throughout the Corn Belt revealed that applying fungicide at the VT stage provides a $20.39 average return on investment.

9 Tips to Help You Put $100 Per Acre Back in Your Pocket

Findings from Beck’s Practical Farm Research indicate closing wheels, planting dates and application timing impact ROI for your no-till corn and soybeans.


  • Aftermarket closing wheels are always worth the investment.
  • Planting early pays off most years for both corn and soybeans. The optimum planting date for corn is April 1-15, while April 1-30 is the best window for soybeans.
  • Timing makes a big difference on your return on investment when it comes to nutrient management and fungicide application.

Re-evaluating fundamentals can result in significant returns on investment year after year. 

“You can add a lot of profitability to your bottom line by doing the basics better,” says Jim Schwartz, director of research, agronomy and Practical Farm Research (PFR) at Beck’s Hybrids. 

Schwartz and Jason Gahimer, Beck’s PFR manager, have analyzed years of data from the more than 800 acres that Beck’s uses for research. These corn and soybean fields are located in central and southern Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and Ohio, with additional sites managed by research companies in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

The total farms are about 75% conventional tillage and 25% no-till, but the data is aggregated. Results are reported based on the averages of all the studied acres, and trials must show the same conclusions for a minimum of 3 years in order to become recommended practices.

While not all of the trials are no-till, Gahimer and Schwartz say their top nine tips for increasing your ROI by $100 per acre remain the same regardless of tillage type. Here they share those recommendations tailored to no-tillers. 

General Tips

1. Invest in Aftermarket Closing Wheels.

All aftermarket closing…

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Michaela paukner

Michaela Paukner

Michaela Paukner is the managing editor of No-Till Farmer, Strip-Till Farmer and Cover Crop Strategies. Her previous journalism experience includes working as a reporter for a legal magazine and as a producer for two Wisconsin TV news stations. She has also worked with clients across the globe as a freelance writer and marketing consultant, and as a brand manager for a Wisconsin-based boutique marketing agency. She's a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

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