No-Tillers Hit New Yield Records Across the Board

No-tilled corn and soybean yields climbed to new highs in the history of the study, while most U.S. regions saw better yields than 2015.

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.)

Corn Yields Rise

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.



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Laura allen

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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