Check out these no-till corn growing tips that made a difference for nine winners in last year’s National Corn Yield Contest conducted by the National Corn Growers Association.
1. Dave Hula finds it pays to scout no-till fields at least every other week. The Charles City, Va., corn grower harvested 251.2 bushels per acre to win the non-Corn Belt no-till, non-irrigated class in the contest.
“We get a lot of weed pressure because this field is in continuous no-till,” he adds. “But last year, we didn’t have much of a problem.”
Hula has no-tilled the same hybrid for 8 years and says it yields well on good soils with the right weather conditions. While he normally seeds 22,000 to 24,000 kernels per acre, he no-tilled 32,500 kernels per acre last spring to see what would happen.
Hula credits a portion of his high yield to having his no-till planter calibrated and reducing planting speed. “In the past, we’ve usually planted at 5 1/2 to 6 mph,” he says. “We cut that to 4 1/2 to 5 mph last year and the result was a much more uniform stand.
“We were really impressed with our seed drop. We didn’t have many skips or double drops. As the year went along, we’d walk out in the field and see consistency in the ears clear through.”
2. Mike Scholting of Louisville, Neb., had a yield of 248.8 bushels per acre. As with Hula, he credits a uniform stand with being an important factor.