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When it comes to determining what will have the most impact on your no-till yields this year, Mark Flock has complied a list of 11 critical factors for you to consider.
The soil scientist and agronomist with Brookside Laboratories in New Knoxville, Ohio, complied an initial list in 1995 with the help of 200 consultants at Brookside Laboratories and several university researchers.
While drainage and crop variety were the most influential factors that year, Flock says they won’t necessarily top your no-till corn list every year. But these and nine other factors help explain why your no-till yields differ from year to year and why they may vary so much from your neighbor’s yields.
While these yield producing factors may not always follow this same order of importance, they offer food for thought when it comes to managing your no-till crops.
Drainage. When Midwestern no-tillers experience a wet growing season, drainage or soil moisture stress is normally the most important factor affecting yield. Too much or too little moisture will reduce yields.
Choosing Corn Hybrids. When gray leaf spot strikes, susceptible corn hybrids often take the biggest yield hits. Since hybrids make a big difference, Flock advises no-tillers to follow selection recommendations for their particular geographies. “You can’t take varieties that are good in other areas and make them work in your area,” he says. While Flock commends plant breeders for the work they’ve done on improving yields, disease resistance and ear size, he’d like to see more research on…