Continuous Corn Residue Tough But Manageable

Some no-tillers are learning the ropes and suppliers are looking to meet their needs as rising prices lure growers toward corn on corn.

Don’t be discouraged by the challenges you faced no-tilling corn on corn for the first time this year; you’re not alone. And if you’re a no-tiller considering going to continuous corn for the next growing season, take advantage of the lessons already being learned by no-tillers capitalizing on high corn prices.

The challenges are real but manageable. That’s the consensus from the equipment manufacturers, distributors and consultants who work with and are in the loop with no-tillers growing continuous corn across the Corn Belt and beyond. Asked about dealing with continuous corn residue by Conservation Tillage Product Guide, they point to large volumes of residue as the biggest barrier to success.

Protect Equipment

Dave Moeller, a consultant with Moeller Ag Service and a past No-Till Innovator of the Year award winner, says, “Being able to move 200-bushel-per-acre corn residue aside can be a challenge for the row cleaners. With all that trash being moved, it can be thrown into drive chains and derail them.”

He says the problem can affect transmission drives, ground drives or row unit drives. “Simple trash guards or deflectors can be made or purchased to alleviate the problem,” he says.

Face-mounted row cleaners tend to handle the trash better in corn on corn planting because they are fixed and mounted close to row unit, and a large-diameter row cleaner wheel is also an advantage, he adds.

Moeller says no-tillers using floating-style row cleaners should consider adding down pressure springs to hold the row cleaner on the…

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