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ICCC reports 2010 row-cropping results

By Staff | Dec 17, 2010

ICCC?AG?STUDENTS, with instructor Mike Robertson, holding paper, look over a portion of the school’s soybean crop prior to harvesting.

The Iowa Central Community College agriculture program has had an educational 2010 crop year.

The farm planting was split 50/50 with strip-till and conventional tillage methods.

The farm consists of 110 acres of corn and 110 acres of soybeans.

For the 2010 soybean crop students planted Channel Bio 2551R and Pioneer 92M76.

For the 2010 corn crop they planted Bio Channel 205-99 STX corn and Pioneer P0461XR; for the refuge crop, and 22 acres of Pioneer 36V79.

The spring went really well, students said, adding the weather didn’t fight them and the crops were planted before the rain fell.

The corn was planted by April 19 and the beans were planted on May 10.

On May 25 the corn was sprayed, and the beans on July 10; each crop was sprayed once. They would have liked to have sprayed the beans a second time, students said, but due to the rainy weather this was not possible.

The students did not need to spray the soybeans for aphids.

In addition to their row crops they had 30 acres of alfalfa hay; but reported only able to obtain two cuttings due to rain.

They were still able to get the same number of bales. On a positive note, they did manage to get their hay baled before any of it was rained upon.

Following a rainy spring and summer, harvest went smoothly with no rain. The soybeans were combined on Oct. 5 and the corn was combined on Oct. 14.

The students did not see a yield difference between the conventional and strip till methods.

Due to the fall weather, the crops dried quickly. The soybean yields were average compared to the previous year, but the corn yields were down significantly.

They said they determined corn yields were decreased due to the rainy weather and loss of nitrogen in the low spots.

ICCC’s adjusted yield results showed that there were no differences between the two types of tillage methods used. However, there were differences between the two varieties used for both corn and soybeans.

The students found that strip-till corn was approximately $5 more profitable per acre, and the strip-till soybeans were $26 more profitable per acre.

With this information the ag students were able to determine the strip-till method is more economical for itys operation.

ICCC’s students will continue to run tests on strip-till versus conventional tillage, they said, saying it’s necessary to continue working with these tests to eliminate weather effects, change in soil make-up and weed pressure between the two tillage methods.

In all, 2010 was an educational crop year, even with both yields below average.

The class experimented and learned about both tillage practices. The income earned is used for scholarships and some program improvements.

– James Hepp, Maria Mickelson, Lora Von Ahn and Cory Hershkowitz contributed to this report for Farm News.

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