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A compilation of more than 2,600 Iowa custom farming rates reports no-till planting costs just over $27 per acre on average in 2023, an almost $4 per acre increase compared to 2022.
Iowa State Extension reports 2023 survey resondents are paying anywhere from $12.75 to $42.50 per acre for no-till planting. In 2022, farmers surveyed by Iowa State Extension paid an average of $23.25 for the same service.
In 2023, no-tilling using a planter with splitters costs $26.80 per acre on average. Iowa State Extension reports an average extra charge of $2.90 per acre for seed shut-offs and an additional $2.80 per acre on average for variable rate seeding.
Mark Licht with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach says no-tillers should rely on soil conditions — not the calendar — to determine the right planting date.
Soils should be dry enough to avoid sidewall and gauge wheel compaction, Licht says, and soil temperature should be 50 degrees F and rising.
“If you feel you can plant all your corn and soybean acres before May 20, the research shows both corn and soybean have high yield potential,” Licht says. “However, if you think weather delays will push planting past May 20, plant your corn first. After May 20, corn has a much more severe yield potential penalty compared to soybean.”