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While the acres have leveled off nationally since the mid-1990s, a lot of farmers are having tremendous success with no-tilled corn.
Wanting everyone to enjoy this success, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), The Ohio State University and the Ohio No-Till Council have developed 14 key management strategies to help you optimize your no-till corn production.
While Ohio’s total conservation tillage acres have been decreasing, the goal is to stop this decline and help farmers enjoy success with no-tilled corn, explains Alan Sundermeier, a Cooperative Extension Service agent in Henry County, Ohio.
“The key is getting down to the fundamentals,” says Sundermeier. “If you don’t get these techniques done correctly at the outset, you can’t progress to the ‘fancy plays.’”
Norman Widman, state agronomist for NRCS in Ohio, says the following 14 strategies are not absolute, but do reflect years of research and the thought processes that go into successfully no-tilling corn.
The pH of your soil is critical in all fields and with all soil types. Since it has a great bearing on nutrient availability, you need to have your pH in the 6.0 to 7.0 range for most crops grown in the Midwest, says Widman. Since soil pH can also affect pesticide performance, it’s critical to know the pH level of your soils in order to determine the appropriate rate and the right pesticides to use.
If you are converting a rented field to no-till for the first time, Widman…