New developments in recent years in regard to more effective weed and insect control have paid big dividends for Joe Alexandrowski.
The veteran no-tiller from Reading, Mich., has no-tilled Roundup Ready soybeans since 2000 and is a firm believer in using Bt corn to harvest more bushels of corn per acre.
“A problem in some no-tilled fields is not getting weeds burned down soon enough,” he says. “If weeds are there, they will definitely impact your yields if not controlled. With real nasty weeds in no-till, you don’t have any choice but to burn them down in early spring.”
All scouting and herbicide application is done by a local farm supplier. “They do a better job than we can do ourselves and it saves us both time and money,” says Alexandrowski.
Besides controlling any potential corn borer outbreaks, Alexandrowski finds that no-tilling Bt corn varieties offers several other advantages.
“Corn varieties with the Bt trait seem to have stronger stalks and we get better performance when no-tilling corn on some of our lighter rolling ground,” he says. “The Bt corn varieties also tend to yield a little more for us.
“The wind in this area can get really nasty in the fall and push your corn stalks over. But we find that the Bt corn varieties tend to stand straighter even in high winds and are much easier for us to harvest.”
Until 1993, the family milked 150 cows near Detroit’s huge airport…