With 32 years’ experience no-tilling corn and 29 years no-tilling soybeans, western Ohio farmer Jim Longenecker has given a great deal of thought to what he wants in a hybrid for no-till.
“I just try to select seeds that will work best in my environment,” Longenecker says. “I don’t worry too much about early season vigor because the row cleaners are clearing a path for the soil to warm up.
“I use seed treatments on corn and soybean seed. This added protection for the seed helps to get the plants off to a good start. Also, I’m very conscientious about not planting when the soils are too wet early in the season. It’s just not worth it.”
Longenecker grows corn and soybeans in a 50-50 rotation to spread yield risk. While 75% of the soybeans grown in the area are no-tilled, just 10% of the corn is, he says.
“I think part of the reason is that people are not committed to making it work, and people enjoy running iron,” Longenecker says. “But I think in the last couple of years, farmers have done a lot of evaluation on the costs of tillage.”
Seed-company experts interviewed by No-Till Farmer say no-tillers selecting corn hybrids and soybean varieties need to consider a variety of factors to make their operations successful.
Farmers must not only look at stay-green ratings, standability, stalk and root strength and the response to fungicide, but also weather patterns, disease prevalence and the unique…