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New Crops, New Rotations For 1999

While looking for ways to earn better returns, three western farmers are making only minor changes in their cropping programs.

Farming in dryland areas, three Colorado and Washington no-tillers are looking for new crops to add to their rotations in order to increase yields and profits while making it easier to control weeds.

1. No-Till Corn Looks Good.

By adding 95-day maturity no-tilled corn to the rotation, Ken Remmington sees an opportunity to boost profits.

“By no-tilling Roundup Ready corn into prosso millet stubble, we’ve been getting three to five bushels less corn yield per acre, but it’s just a matter of working out the problems,” says the Akron, Colo., no-tiller.

“Prosso millet is a very low water user. We can start no-tilling this crop earlier in the spring and don’t have to deal with no-tilling corn into wheat stubble, which almost always leads to problems. With wet wheat stubble, we normally can’t start no-tilling corn until at least noon because our no-till planter won’t cut through the damp stubble.”

Remmington drops only 15,000 corn kernels per acre. “We get five to six acres of corn out of a bag of seed corn,” he says. “That works out to only $3 to $3.50 per acre for Roundup Ready seed corn. Along with the tech fee we have to pay for using this herbicide-resistant corn and the herbicide costs, we have $10 invested per acre. Other options can’t be done for less than $16 per acre.”

2. Adding New Crops.

“We are working hard to find other broadleaf crops other than sunflowers,” Remmington says.“We are no-tilling field peas and soybeans and…

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