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With regions like the Eastern and Western Corn Belts cutting back on no-till, overall the practice saw a 3.6-percentage point decline for cropping acreage in 2015.
Of the nearly 430,000 acres farmed by No-Till Farmer readers who participated in the 8th annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Survey, 72.9% were managed under no-till last year compared to 76.5% the previous 2 years.
Strip-till, on the other hand, saw an increase of almost 3 points from 7.7% in 2014 to 10.5%. Minimum-tilled acres also picked up acreage, going from 8.6% in 2014 to 9.5% in 2015. Vertical-tilled acres remained unchanged at 7.1%.
While no-till saw a decline in acreage, the number of survey takers using no-till on their farm did increase by 3 points to 97% in 2015 from 94% in 2014 and 2013.
The percent of readers using strip-till, minimum tillage and moldboard plowing remained steady at 15%, 30% and 2%, respectively, while use of vertical tillage dropped from 20% in 2014 to 18% in 2015.
Corn acres under no-till management last year saw a 5-point decline from the 67% recorded in 2014 to 62% last year. At the same time, the percentage of corn grown under strip-till jumped 4 points to 19% in 2015.
Vertically tilled corn picked up a percentage point for 7% of corn acres, while minimum-tilled acres stayed at 12%.
Looking at the acres on a regional level, the areas that saw a decrease in no-tilled corn saw an increase in strip-tilled corn…