The 6th Wonder

Good afternoon, I hope everyone is enjoying the sun today.  I was really happy today to take a look at the thermometer outside and saw that we have finally broke 40.  At this time last year we were with out snow and there was some, if not a lot of tillage going on as growers were preparing to put in their crops.  It looks like that may still be a few weeks off this year, but the spring tillage will happen.  Speaking of tillage, that is the “6th wonder of the corn world”.  A grower’s tillage practices can account for up to 15 bushels when trying to achieve the 300 bu/acre mark.  Tillage is definately not a one size fits all to get to 300 bu, it can vary greatly in its mechanism, timing, and degree.  The tillage will depend on the growers practice of course, are they a no-till, minimum-till, or conventional till grower.  The tillage is also impacted by the previous crop, whether you are growing corn on corn, or if it is grown in a rotation with other crops.   More tillage will usually need to go into growing corn on corn then in a soybean rotation and that will have an effect on the soil tilth and health.  One approach that a growing may think about when trying to achieve higher yields is to think about a strip-tillage program.  Strip-till allows for a grower to keep some residue, have a suitable seed bed, and allow them to have nutrients placed in close relation to the growing crop.  Next week the final “wonder”, until then I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable week.