Become A Stalker

January 4, 2009 06:00 PM

Pam Smith, Farm Journal Crops & Issues Editor
Combining continuous corn with no-till yields lots of residue. Question is, how can growers utilize both practices and still maximize yields?
That's the purpose behind a research initiative between Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, and the University of Missouri. A four-year study is underway to examine the impact of high residue/corn stover on yields in corn-after-corn, no-till fields.
The first wave of studies shows that hybrids with stronger emergence scores bring home greater yields to growers in high-residue fields. So does shredding stalks.
Greg Luce, Pioneer area agronomist in eastern Missouri, gets lots of questions from growers about stalk breakdown. "Growers want hybrids that have great stalk integrity, but following the growing season, have the ability to break down as well.”
The four-year study continues through the 2011 season, It will compare several methods of working with residue, including no-till fields where corn is planted between residue, stalks are shredded into small pieces, stalks are baled, nitrogen is applied to increase stalk degradation and row cleaners are used during planting.
Yields for this year's study ranged from 170 bushels per acre to 200 bushel per acre. The study is taking place at the University of Missouri Bradford Research and Extension Center near Columbia, Mo., and is part of the Pioneer Crop Management Research Awards (CMRA) program that provides funds for agronomic and precision-farming studies by university and USDA cooperators throughout North America.

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