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EXPERT TIP: Corn-on-corn outlook
Though input costs are higher for continuous corn, striking the right balance of crop inputs can be the difference between a profit and loss.
The good news heading into 2011 is that corn-on-corn could see better results than it did in 2010, says University of Illinois Extension agronomist and Agriculture.com Corn High Yield Team Expert Panel member Emerson Nafziger. That's because more farmers are entering the winter with more fall fieldwork completed than a year ago.
With early harvest and much tillage this fall, we expect corn following corn to be more normal in 2011 than it was in 2010.
"Corn following corn had a rough year in some places in 2010. Reasons for this aren't altogether clear, but likely involved the late harvest, lack of fall tillage and heavy residue on the surface in the spring of 2010," Nafziger says. "With early harvest and much tillage this fall, we expect corn following corn to be more normal in 2011 than it was in 2010."
Despite those conditions, look for corn-on-corn acres to typically yield 5% to 10% less than those in a corn-soybean rotation. There are still ways, though, to keep that yield drag at a mimimum.
"Corn following soybean needs less N and tends to be more consistent," Nafziger says. "Where corn yields were low in 2010, some leftover N (though it was wet enough that there may not be a lot) and reduced residue may help yields of the following corn crop some."