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There are oodles of different things you can try to boost your no-till corn and soybean yields. Some make sense while others don’t.
Marion Calmer of Alpha, Ill., has tested dozens of ideas and says the ones that provide the most profit are the ones he seeks out and uses.
Calmer tries to concentrate on ideas that will boost yields and do what we’re all hoping to do: Make more money.
“We all want to no-till faster,” Calmer explains. “No one wants to plant too late in the season in a muddy field.”
Recognizing that no-tilling slower should give more even no-till corn emergence and seed spacing, Calmer slowed his tractor down one gear, dropping from 6.9 to 4.6 mph.
“We saw a 4-bushel yield increase, so we know it works,” he says. “By slowing down, I need an additional day to get the crop in the ground. Can I afford to wait an entire day for 4 bushels per acre of corn? Getting that kind of a yield increase tells me that I’m getting a more consistent seed depth and more consistent emergence.
“But I’ll be honest, it’s tough to slow down.”
“The yield penalty for planting too early is far less than the one for no-tilling too late,” he explains.
“When you’ve got a large, round seed that’s being dropped into a seed trench, many times it’ll bridge in that ‘V,’ creating an air pocket…