rick williams

Improving Yields with Test Plots, Twin-Row Corn

From twin-row corn to in-furrow fertilizer adoption, Elwood, Ind., no-tiller Rick Williams embraces the risk-reward nature of farm trials on a 650-acre corn and soybean operation.

While taking a 15-year hiatus from farming, Elwood, Ind., no-tiller Rick Williams had every intention of eventually returning to the family farm he grew up on, contingent on completing a promise he made to his father, Jerry, of getting an education first. 

“After getting my degree, I went on to work as a mechanical engineer at Fort Wayne Metals and owned my own business at one point,” Williams says. “I got to do some other things, but, at the end of the day, I knew what I was passionate about.” 

In 2007, Williams purchased 50 acres of land near his original family farm. With the help of his dad and uncles, he became reacquainted with the demands and lifestyle of full-time farming. 

The Williams family had been conventionally tilling for decades, and while his own farm started off that way, as an extension of that tradition, Williams had always considered a shift in tillage practices, at least for his own acres. Believing that no-till would reduce erosion, improve soil health and bring the greatest yield potential when returns on investment for seed and fertilizer are considered, he wasted little time making the switch. 

 

No-Till Takeaways

  • Drainage tile installation is key to a successful no-till transition — especially in flat regions for previously conventional tillers — to combat water retention issues.
  • Expanding from conventional to twin rows on 30-inch no-tilled corn alleviates stress on the plant in populations nearing 50,000.
  • For winter cover, cereal rye is a more durable option than…
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Degraff-james

James DeGraff

James DeGraff is an Associate Editor for No-Till Farmer Magazine. A journalism graduate of UW-Madison, he was an intern for Farm Equipment prior to joining Lessiter Media full time in July 2017. Contact: jdegraff@lessitermedia.com

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