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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:
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…