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Stripping Secrets, Strategies

Here’s what growers learned this year about strip-tilling continuous corn.

Continuous corn acres rose sharply this year as many growers tried to capitalize on increasing corn prices. Yet many growers were unsure how much tillage would be needed to turn out high yields. To help do a more effective job of strip-tilling this fall or next spring, readers were recently asked what they’ve learned from this year’s experiences with continuous corn.

9-Year Continuous Corn Veteran

William Benner has been growing continuous corn for 9 years and has fall-applied anhydrous ammonia with strip-till for 3 years. The Mt. Pulaski, Ill., grower strip-tilled all his corn ground for the first time this year.

He finds hybrid selection is critical for corn following corn, particularly with no-till and strip-till. In addition, he says, triple-stacked corn hybrids need to be enhanced with Capture LFR that is placed along with starter fertilizer in the furrow to control secondary pests such as grubs, cutworms and wireworms.

When strip-tilling continuous corn, Benner says, an in-furrow starter that is safe when applied with seed and also high in available phosphorus is essential to ensure early season vigor, color and overall plant health.

“Consider other ways to get additional phosphorus and potassium into the root zone,” he says. “And remember that phosphorus and potassium do not move in the soil profile for 2 to 5 years with broadcast dry fertilizer applications in no-till.”

Terry Sweet has not seen any problems with strip-tilling continuous sweet corn. “We don’t even redo the strips every year; we no-till on top of the…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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