8th Annual Benchmark Study: No-Till Soybeans Set Yield Record, Corn Remains Steady

The average no-till corn yield fell just 1 bushel shy of last year’s record, while no-till soybeans hit a new high with a 53-bushel average.

While weather conditions varied greatly across the nation last spring — with warm, dry planting weather in the Upper Midwest and cool, wet conditions that caused delays in the Eastern Corn Belt — no-tillers still saw one of their best years in terms of yield.

No-Till Farmer readers participating in the 8th annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study reported an average 168 bushels per acre for no-till corn, just 1 bushel shy of 2014’s average yield of 169, the highest recorded yield in the study’s history.

Strip-till corn saw its biggest year yet in 2015 with an average yield of 191 bushels per acre — 9 bushels higher than the previous record hit in 2014.

Minimum-tilled corn also set a new yield record in 2015 at 181 bushels per acre, up by 6 bushels from 2014 and 3 bushels more than the previous record.

Vertical tillage was the only tillage system that saw a decrease in average corn yield, falling 3 bushels to 175, the same yield set in 2013.

Plains See Jump

The Western Corn Belt had the highest no-till corn yield average at 179 bushels per acre, 9 bushels short of its 2014 average. The Great Lakes followed with 174, a 20-bushel increase over the previous year’s 154 bushels per acre. (See Table 1.)

The Eastern Corn Belt was just 1 bushel short of the overall average with 167 bushels per acre, but that was 13 bushels lower than the 180-bushel average recorded in 2014. The Northeast averaged 166…

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Laura Barrera

Laura Barrera is the former managing editor of No-Till Farmer and Conservation Tillage Guide magazines. Prior to joining No-Till Farmer, she served as an assistant editor for a greenhouse publication. Barrera holds a B.A. in magazine journalism from Ball State University.

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