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Think Profit Per Acre As You Fine-Tune Tillage Choices For 2012

Think Profit Per Acre As You Fine-Tune Tillage Choices For 2012
Highest yielding system may not always produce the most profit when all costs are calculated.

Conventionally - tilled corn beat no-till in yield in the Beck's Hybrid practical farm research demonstration on their southern location near Ft. Branch in 2011. That's probably not a huge surprise. If you love conventional, you're probably thinking this just backs up what you already knew- tillage helps produce more corn.

If you stop reading here, you're missing some key information, notes Scott Ebelhor, who manages the Gibson County site. Becks' Hybrids also conduct practical farm research demonstrations at the home base near Atlanta, Ind., and at two locations in Illinois.

In corn after soybeans, when all the costs were calculate, no-till was a buck and change per acre ahead of conventional till in 2011, despite lower yield. And believe it or not, in corn after corn, no-till out yielded conventional till at the 200 plus bushel per acre range. Profit was nearly $100 per acre more.

What counts is what happens over time. There is now four years of data on this tillage demonstration. No-till has produced les corn and less profit than conventional till corn over the four year span. However, while soybean yield is slightly lower, profit per acre is about $10 higher per acre per year over four years in soybeans after corn for no-till vs. conventional.

The story gets very interesting when you throw strip-till into the equation, Ebelhor observes. It was the highest yielder and most profitable system in corn after soybeans in 2011, and yielded just under conventional tillage on the four year average, but actually produced more than $11 per acre more profit when averaged over four years.

When it comes to the four –year average, strip till yields more than either convention or no-till in corn after corn. The profit advantage averaged out to nearly $50 per acre per year.

For more details, call Becks at 800-937-2325.
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