|Location||Monmouth, IL||Planting Date||4/23/19|
|Soil Type||Silt Loam||Harvest Date||10/14/19|
|Previous Crop||Corn||Potential Yield (bu/acre)||250|
|Tillage Type||Various||Seeding Rate (seeds/acre||36K|
Cereal rye was sown in the relevant zones and respective tillage operations were performed in the fall of 2018.
Following cover crop termination, a 114-day RM SmartStax® RIB Complete® corn blend product was planted in all plots.
Grain was harvested and adjusted to 15% moisture.
In this trial, no-till plots had the lowest corn yield (Figure 2). Prolonged cold temperatures prior to planting likely hindered residue decomposition and seedling emergence, potentially affecting yields in those plots.1 Rising temperatures after planting likely promoted rapid residue decomposition, which could reduce the amount of nitrogen available during the early season as microbes utilize soil nitrogen when decomposing crop residue.2
Yields were similar between the strip-tilled plots and the conventionally-tilled plot.
This was the first year of this trial; establishing tillage zones and improving soil structure and quality takes time.
Cover crops may have other benefits beyond yield: moisture conservation, weed suppression, and nutrient cycling. These benefits are less tangible but may have an effect on profit potential.
The Monmouth Learning Center has committed to conducting this study on a long-term basis to monitor the effects on yield and soil quality over time.
1 Archontoulis, S. and Castellano, M. 2018. Soil water, residue, and nitrogen status entering the 2018 growing season. Iowa State University. https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/.
2 University of Nebraska – Lincoln. 2017. Crop residue removal: impacts on yield. No-Till Farmer. https://www.no-tillfarmer.com.