Making money from corn stover

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    Looking to make an extra $55 to $75 per acre on top of the corn grain you already harvest? That’s the estimated total value that central Iowa farmers participating in the 2013 DuPont Stover Harvest Collection Program near Nevada, Iowa, may glean for their corn stover. That’s on top of any revenues they receive for their grain.

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    How it’s determined

    John Pieper, stover feedstock workstream leader for DuPont Industrial Biosciences, says this total value includes: Direct payments for stover, savings of fuel and equipment due to elimination of some tillage trips, and an expected yield improvement (3% or greater on average) in the subsequent corn crop for continuous corn farmers.

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    Emergence Issues

    The expected yield improvement is partially due to removing part of next year’s residue in corn-on-corn. Excess corn residue that holds water and lowers soil temperatures can hamper emergence.

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    Residue impact

    The next three photos are examples on how residue can hamper corn-on-corn stands. These photos were from residue simulation plots last summer at DuPont Pioneer in Johnston, Iowa. Tillage simulated in these plots mimics something close to a fall chisel plowing followed by a light spring cultivation trip.

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    Low residue

    Although you’d want higher than a 90 bushel per acre corn crop, the good news is the lack of residue makes for a great stand the following year.

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    Medium residue

    This stand simulates one after a more-normal 180 bushels per acre corn crop the previous harvest. The stand is a bit more ragged, though, with more residue hampering emergence.

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    Thick residue

    This residue is from a 360-bushel/acre simulated yield. It translates into a more ragged and shorter stand that following year. Removing some of this residue via corn stover harvest would help boost stands and give farmers a payment for the corn stover, too, say DuPont Pioneer officials.

Add to your bottom line with this new addition to your corn production.

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