No-tilled acres saw a significant increase among readers in 2016 in comparison to recent years.
Of the 740,000-plus acres farmed by No-Till Farmer readers who participated in the 9th annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study, around 80% were managed in a no-till system last year, a nearly 7-point jump from 2015. This was also the highest percent seen since 2012’s 78.7%.
Other tillage practices saw a decline in overall acreage. Both strip-tilled and vertical-tilled acres fell by about 2 percentage points from 2015 to 2016, with 8.2% of acres under strip-till management last year and 5% that were vertically tilled.
Minimum-tillage also saw a decline of just over 3 percentage points to 6.6% last year compared to 9.5% in 2015. Moldboard-plowed acres dipped under 0.1% from 0.3%.
The percent of readers using no-till practices remained unchanged at 97%, while strip-till increased slightly from 15% to 16%. The use of vertical tillage continued to fall from 20% in 2014 and 18% in 2015 to 15% last year.
There were also fewer readers using minimum tillage last year, at 23% compared to 30% in 2015. Those using moldboard plowing remained unchanged at 2%.
As no-till acreage picked up, so did the percent of corn, soybeans and small grains grown under the practice.
No-tilled corn acres picked up 5 percentage points from 2015, returning to the 67% seen in 2014, while no-tilled soybean acres saw a 4-point increase from 83% in 2015 to 87% last year. Small grains saw the biggest…