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Being “better than average” on a consistent basis usually leads to success. In the 2017 world of farm economics, it took something extra special for no-tillers to finish in the black.
In an agricultural economy that’s currently walking a fine line, that extra special was record-setting corn yields.
Those corn yields appeared to give the 497 No-Till Farmer readers participating in our 10th annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study just enough of what they needed to stay profitable as a group.
At an average yield of 181.3 bushels per acre, no-tillers beat the previous year’s mark of 170.8 bushels by 10.5 bushels (6.1%). Having more corn to sell was critical for several reasons:
For the past 3 years, the number of no-tillers reporting profits, losses or flat bottom lines has been relatively unchanged. For 2017, there was a minor shift in no-tillers reporting profits and losses to no-tillers saying they broke even. (See Table 1.)
Some 68% of no-tillers said they were…