Corn yields dropped 6 bushels per acre for every inch of driving error away from the edge of the strip in 2007 research at the Oklahoma Panhandle Research and Extension, near Goodwell, Okla.

The research examined irrigated corn yields vs. driving error for strip-tilled plots.There was no significant yield decrease until was planted 4.5 inches from the center of the strip.

Since the strips were about 8 to 9 inches wide, there was no penalty until the corn was planted outside the strip. When the planter moves off the strip, it is in a no-till environment and if it is not adjusted correctly for no-till, stands may not be as good.

The data from Goodwell supports this observation. Final stands for the plots with driving errors greater than 4.5 inches were lower than those with errors less than 4.5 inches.

While this one year of data from the Panhandle supports a need for at least 4.5 inch driving accuracy, research in Stillwater found no yield benefit to improved driving accuracy.