No-Till Acres Hold Their Own in 2014

The percentage of total cropping acres in no-till remained stable last year, while strip-till’s share of acres saw further erosion.

Figure 2. What Tillage Practices Do You Use as a Percentage of Your Corn Acres?

Figure 2

No-till acreage appeared to stabilize among No-Till Farmer readers in 2014, according to data from the 7th annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study.

Some 76.5% of the total cropping acreage for 2014 was managed in a no-till system — the same figure as 2013, but still 2 points lower than the 78.7% recorded in 2012.

About 7.7% of cropland acres were strip-tilled last year, a 1-point drop from 8.7% in 2013. Strip-till acres have seen an almost 4-point decline in acres since 2012.

Readers also said 7.1% of total crop acres in 2014 experienced vertical-tillage practices, compared to 6.7% in 2013.

Minimum-tilled crop acres were at 8.6% in 2014, up from 7.8% in 2013. When vertical-till and minimum-till acres are combined, the two practices increased their share of cropping acreage among readers from 14.5% in 2013 to 15.6% last year.

As for moldboard plowing, the practice decreased among readers from 0.3% of crop acres in 2013 to 0.1% last year.

As for general tillage practices across all regions, 94% of readers said they use some form of no-till on their farm, the same level as in 2013.

Strip-till practices fell by 1 point to 15% in 2014. Both minimum tillage (30%) and moldboard plow (2%) practices were unchanged, while vertical-tillage use among readers slipped from 23% in 2013 to 20% last year.

No-Till Corn Acres Grow

When looking at the tillage practices used on corn acres…

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John-dobberstein2

John Dobberstein

John Dobberstein is senior editor of No-Till Farmer magazine and the e-newsletter Dryland No-TillerHe previously covered agriculture for the Tulsa World and worked for daily newspapers in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Joseph, Mich. He graduated with a B.A. in journalism and political science from Central Michigan University.

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