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No-tillers had one of the best crop performances in the history of No-Till Farmer’s annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study, hitting record corn and soybean yield averages overall and beating 2015 yields in most regions.
Readers who participated in the 9th annual survey reported an average 171 bushels per acre for no-tilled corn in 2016, ousting the previous average high of 169 bushels set in 2014. No-tilled soybeans averaged 58 bushels per acre last year, 5 bushels higher than the record set in 2015.
Strip-tilled corn continued the trend of setting a new average yield record with 197 bushels per acre in 2016, 6 bushels above the 191-bushel record set in 2015. The previous high was set in 2014 at 182 bushels.
Vertical-tilled corn hit 186 bushels per acre last year, the highest on record since No-Till Farmer started collecting yield data for this tillage practice in 2013. Previously the high was 178, set in 2014.
Minimum-tilled corn was the only tillage practice that saw a decline in yield at 177 bushels per acre, a 4-bushel loss from 2015’s 181.
(See Table 2 for the 9-year history of corn yields by tillage system.)
Once again, the Western Corn Belt had the highest no-till corn yield of the seven regions at 191 bushels per acre — out-yielding the region’s previous record set in 2014 by 3 bushels. The Great Lakes region followed at an average 177 bushels per acre, 3 bushels higher than its average yield in 2015.