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A look back at the last 10 years may reveal that you have fewer hairs on the top of your head (or more of them colored gray). As for the collective farming operations of No-Till Farmer readers, a number of trends have emerged from the past decade of no-till operational benchmark surveys that no-tillers graciously took the time to answer.
The editors of No-Till Farmer identified 20 trends they believe are worth noting and that you may want to compare your no-till management system against.
1 No-Till Corn Yields Going Up. While many factors impact yield, there’s no doubt no-till corn yields have made substantial strides the past decade. (See Table 1.)
In 2008, the average corn yield reported by No-Till Farmer readers was 156 bushels per acre, but that average climbed to 181 bushels per acre in 2017 — an all-time high for the survey and an 11-bushel increase over the prior year.
There have been exceptions to increases through the years, including just 151 bushels per acre in 2010, 148 bushels per acre in 2011 and 134 bushels per acre in the drought year of 2012. But since 2012, no-till corn yields have improved by 35%.
2 Soybeans Movin’ on Up, Too. No-tillers have been enjoying better soybean yields over the past decade. (See Table 2.) While 2017 yields of 54.8 bushels per acre were actually down from the 2016 record-high average of 57.5 bushels per acre, they are considerably higher than Year 1 of the benchmark study…