ICCC ag students note successful growing season
(The following article is a coolaborative report of the Iowa Central Community College farm results during the 2011 growing year.)
The Iowa Central Community College agriculture students have had a successful 2011 crop season.
The 2011 harvest got under way on Oct. 1 and finished on Oct. 19. The overall corn average yield was 215 bushels per acre at 14.17 percnet moisture. The overall soybean average yield was 54 bushels per acre at 11.65 percent moisture.
The college has access to 250 acres of tillable soil located just southwest of Fort Dodge. The farm has two fields of approximately 110 acres each.
The remainder of the acres is put into alfalfa hay. The rodeo program uses this hay for their stock and what is not used is sold.
The two 110-acre fields are divided evently researching the results of strip-tillage verses conventional tillage. This year the students planted Pioneer corn PO448XR and Bio Channel corn 207/03VT3; and Pioneer Soybeans 92Y53, and Bio Channel soybeans 2551R.
The students divided the brands of corn and soybeans evenly across both strip-till and conventional tillage.
The spring weather cooperated with the students. The corn was planted on May 5 and the soybeans were planted on May 11.
Spraying went according to the students’ 2011 plan, except for the strip-till soybeans.
The strip-till soybeans had to be sprayed an extra time due to the pre-emergence not working properly.
The strip-till corn showed a positive 1.98 percent yield over the conventional tilled corn.
The strip-till corn cost an additional 2 percent more to produce than the conventional tilled corn.
The students feel that this 2 percent increase in cost is most likely due to the side-dressing of nitrogen, which was just done on part of those acres.
The students found that the strip-till was still more profitable than the conventional tillage with these numbers.
The strip-till soybeans showed no difference in yield compared to the conventional tilled soybeans. The strip-till soybeans cost 6 percent less than the conventional tilled soybeans. The students found that strip-till was more profitable than the conventional tillage.
Over the past three years, the students have found strip-till to be more profitable over conventional tillage.
The students will continue to test these tillage methods to see how the soil and yields react over time, but will also start working with other agronomic practices including side-dressing and variable rate fertilizing during the next few growing seasons.
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