No-tillers seeding soybeans with the planter will use nearly 11% less seed than operators of no-till drills.
When it comes to corn and soybeans, the seeding rates no-tillers have been using have headed in different directions for several years. While corn rates have gone up, soybean populations have been declining.
For the fourth straight year, the readers of No-Till Farmer increased their corn-seeding populations, although it appears that soybean rates have leveled off for at least 1 year.
The 5th annual No-Till Benchmark Study reveals that seeding populations for corn rose to 31,103 in 2012. In the previous 3 years, the seeding rate had gone from 30,130 to 30,535 and finally 30,736.
When it came to soybeans, whether readers increased or lowered seeding rates depended upon what they used to put the seed in the ground. Drill operators actually bumped up their rate by 0.7% to 164,894, compared to 163,795 in 2011.
However, planter operators dropped their soybean seeding rates again, from 147,486 in 2011 to 146,997 per acre in 2012, for a decline of 0.3%.
When you compare the seeding rates used with drills to planters, rates with planters are 17,897 fewer seeds per acre, or 10.9% less. (See Figure 13.)
We also asked no-tillers what brands of seed they planned to buy for 2013.
Pioneer Hi-Bred remains the market leader among no-tillers at 47% — but that’s a decline from 52% last year. DeKalb picked up most of what…