8th Annual Benchmark Study: Corn Remains Top No-Till Crop in 2015

After seeing an uptick in soybean acres in 2014, corn acreage bounced back.

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With commodity prices remaining low, overall crop acreage among no-tillers last year was fairly consistent with 2014.

Corn remained the No. 1 crop, making up 40% of total crop acres in the 8th annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study, followed by soybeans, which dropped from 37% in 2014 to 35% last year. Small grains dropped slightly from 15% to 14%. (See Figure 1.)

More no-tillers grew all three crops last year than in recent years, with the percent of no-tillers growing corn increasing by 2 points to 96%, and 92% of no-tillers grew soybeans compared to 88.5% in 2014. Small grains went up 1 percentage point from 56% in 2014.

On a regional level, results indicate corn acreage is seeing an uptick in some areas, despite results from 2014 indicating that more no-tillers were increasing their soybean acreage — likely due to deflating corn prices. Here’s how crop acreage fared in each region last year:

  • After dropping 15 percentage points from 2013 to 2014, corn rebounded in Appalachia, increasing by 9 points to 30% last year. Soybeans and small grains remained consistent at 39% and 19%, respectively, while hay and forage made up 37.5% of total crop acreage.
  • Corn saw a slight decrease in the Eastern Corn Belt, dropping from 47% to 46%. Soybeans again clocked in at 45%, and small grains increased another point to 6%.
  • The Western Corn Belt saw a different story, with corn acreage increasing by 3 points to 52%. Soybean acreage saw another decline, making up…
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Laura-allen_c

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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