Overcoming Residue Concerns With No-Till Corn

No-tillers aren’t the only ones using trial and error. Here’s what one crop consultant and innovator award winner did.

When it comes to terms used to describe no-till farmers, “trial and error” has got to be pretty darn near the top of the list. And as far as no-till crop consultants are concerned, it’s no different.

At least that’s what Joe Nester of Antwerp, Ohio, told attendees at the mid-January seventh annual National No-Tillage Conference in St. Louis, Mo. This consultant’s been trying with the best of them, finding out which methods are successful, and which are not as good.

“We’ve been no-till for about ten years,” Nester says, “with pretty much all of my clients. We’ve struggled a bit with it, and done everything we can to make it work.”

Like many farmers, Nester finds some crops are more feasible in no-till situations than others.

“We’re very successful with beans, but corn seems to be the weaker sister,” he says.

No-Till Concerns

Part of the problem with unsuccessful no-till corn is location.

“In northwestern Ohio, we’re in a heavy clay lake bed—cold and wet. Exactly the two things corn doesn’t like,” Nester explains. “The problem began a few years ago when our residue kept building on the surface year after year. We had a tough time getting into the field in the spring. It stayed too wet and wouldn’t dry out. Because of the moisture, no-tillers were forced to dry it out. So they worked it.”

As difficult as it may be for some no-till farmers to make the conversion back to conventional tilling, Nester says some no-…

To view the full article, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital and Premium subscribers. Please purchase a subscription to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives.

Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings