‘Get With The System’ To Push Corn, Soybean Yields

The right soil tests, inputs, equipment and even water help an Iowa no-tiller hit yield potentials

Success is bound to come when even the performance of water is held to a higher standard as it is on Keith Schlapkohl’s Stockton, Iowa, farm.

After years of experimenting with equipment, soil tests, inputs and other areas, Schlapkohl has found a “U-Trough approach” that has him on track for reaching a 300-bushel-per-acre corn average. He consistently yields in the mid 200-bushels and his yield monitor jumps to over 300 bushels on his best-yielding acres.

“There are no magic bullets. That’s why I use a systems approach,” Schlapkohl says. “Take out any one of these steps and I can’t guarantee results.”

Multitasking Planter

Schlapkohl views the planter as a precision nutrient-placement tool.

“You can do all you want with RTK or strip-till, but when you do strip-till, the nutrients are 6 to 8 inches under the seed,” he says. “I want the seed to get nutrients the day we start.”

Schlapkohl achieves this by creating an in-furrow package for the seed. It includes 26 ounces per acre of Micro-Pack, which contains live bacteria and enzymes. He also uses food-grade phosphoric acid starter (8-19-3), rather than spent phosphoric acid, which can contain lead. The starter is diluted with reverse-osmosis water to a rate of 2.5 gallons starter with 2.5 gallons water.

“Reverse-osmosis water is pure and increases the potency of the fertilizer,” Schlapkohl explains. “One grower I know gained 15 bushels per acre when he went from 5 gallons of starter to 5 gallons of starter plus 5 gallons of reverse-osmosis…

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.

Martha Mintz

Contributing Editor

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