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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #204444

Title: Economic performance of alternative tillage systems in the northern Corn Belt

item Reicosky, Donald
item Archer, David

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/2007
Publication Date: 7/25/2007
Citation: Reicosky, D.C., Archer, D.W. 2007. Economic performance of alternative tillage systems in the northern Corn Belt [abstract]. Soil and Water Conservation Society. p. 66.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Although no till has been successful in warmer, drier areas, there are continued challenges with its use in cool, wet areas. Strip tillage has been developed as an alternative that may provide many of the conservation benefits of no till while maintaining productivity and economic returns. The economic risks and returns of eight tillage treatments including moldboard plow primary tillage, chisel plow primary tillage, no till, and five strip tillage alternatives (fall residue manager, fall residue manager + mole knife, spring residue manager, spring residue manager + mole knife, fall residue manager + subsoil shank) were evaluated for a corn-soybean rotation in West Central Minnesota from 1997-2003. Highest average corn yields were obtained under the fall residue manager + mole knife tillage system while the moldboard plow system had the lowest corn yield variability. Highest average soybean yields were obtained under the moldboard plow system; the lowest soybean yield variability were obtained with the fall residue manager tillage system. The no-till system showed the highest average net returns, but also the highest variability of net returns. Four of the strip-tillage systems had net returns comparable to the no-till system, but with lower risk. The moldboard plow system had the lowest average net returns. Growers in the Northern Corn Belt may be able to reduce tillage while increasing economic returns and reducing risk.