More Continuous Corn Coming

While rising commodity prices may have led to recent changes in this spring’s cropping plans, a No-Till Farmer survey of growers last fall supported a significant increase in continuous corn acres this year.

Back in November, 35% of the surveyed no-tillers expected to add continuous corn acres. Another 53% said they would stay with their 2007 acreage, while 12% weren’t sure what they intended to do.

Among these nearly 700 no-tillers, one-third expected to grow continuous corn on up to 25% of their corn acres. Another one-third expected to have one-fourth to one-half of their corn acres in continuous corn. Plus, 13% of the growers expected to have 51% to 75% of their corn acres in continuous corn, while roughly one-fifth anticipated planting 76% to 100% of their corn ground to continuous corn.

These growers were also asked what tillage system they expected to use with continuous corn this year:

  • 43% will use no-till.

  • 5% expect to strip-till.

  • 35% will use a minimum-tillage system.

  • 17% will use a conventional-tillage system to manage residue.

Major Worries

These no-tillers were also asked to list what they believe are the major problems that can occur with continuous corn. The leading concerns were a lack of rotation, increased insect concerns, more disease worries, a need for improved residue management and more effective weed control.

Other problems included planting concerns, effective fertilization, a lack of water, higher input costs compared with no-tilling soybeans or wheat and harvesting worries due to larger amounts of residue.


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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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