What's It Take To Capture No-Till Corn Contest Honors?

Contrary to what you may think, most contestants don’t go overboard with inputs in their contest fields and find that competing helps them find new ways to push up no-till yields across the entire farm.

When it comes to learning what it takes to turn out profitable corn yields, many no-tillers find they learn a great deal from having contest plots on their farms.

A number of no-tillers indicate that participation in the annual National Corn Yield Contest has provided plenty of valuable information that has helped them boost yields across the entire farm. And in fact, most no-tillers select fields to enter in contests that have been treated much the same as all their other corn fields.

To demonstrate how entering some of your fields in a yield contest can be a great learning experience, the No-Till Farmer staff did an in-depth analysis of the records from the 174 no-tillers who captured the top three places for each state in various aspects of the 2002 contest sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association. Among the nine classes in the contest, there are three that deal with no-till and strip-till:

  • No-till and strip-till corn that is not irrigated in the seven major corn growing states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. There were 302 entries in this class last year.
  • Non-irrigated no-tilled and strip-tilled corn in 31 other states. Last year’s class included 354 entries.
  • No-till and strip-till irrigated corn in 33 states attracted 258 entries.

Yield Averages

In the seven major corn growing states, yields for the winning no-till entries averaged 233.3 bushels per acre. The yields averaged 184.6 bushels per acre in 31 other corn-growing states. Surprisingly, yields for irrigated…

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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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