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hardnox
Advisor

What ever happened to the ultra high yield continuous corn meme?

Back during the kickoff of the ethanol age the meme about how the best soils could sustain very high, and even ever increasing continuous corn yields with mini-moldboard deep tillage, etc. was widely afloat.

 

Even though there wasn't any university research to support it even the academics seemed partly willing to embrace the anecdotes.

 

That was probably more true of economists than agronomists. In my view that was because the economists were tempted to try to backfit anecdotal evidence to make corn production meet the ethanol timeline.

 

Anyway, where are we on that?

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5 Replies
Mike M2692830
Senior Contributor

Re: What ever happened to the ultra high yield continuous corn meme?

Our area is surrounded by e plants and feed mills. Corn is easy to grow even in a corn on corn environment. C on c yields average less then following beans almost every time. Beans get bad press because a lot can't break that low 50 average, they have to be sprayed twice for weeds, once for bugs and once for a fungicide unless your lucky enough to combine some of those trips which happens almost never. So my point is that beans have gotten harder to manage and a hit on corn yield sometimes becomes worth it. Ii think you are right about the economics over agronomics and that was the case...MikeM
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hanktbd
Senior Contributor

Re: What ever happened to the ultra high yield continuous corn meme?

Rootworms, nematodes, fungi, bacterial wilts, allelopathy, subsoil moisture, n penalty, and others combine to penalize COC monoculture. We may not have been as aware of some of these issues 40yrs ago.
hardnox
Advisor

Re: What ever happened to the ultra high yield continuous corn meme?

The talk that I'm referring to was going around ca. 2006 and involved anecdotes of people doing magnificently with CoC under high management, with yields that might have dipped for a few years but then actually rose and held at high levels after a while.

 

The reason I asked was that I was skeptical, by experience, but interested. But I assume that if this had really been conquored we'd be hearing a lot about it because things that are very profitable don't tend to remain secret for very long in this business.

 

This is 100% speculation but also wondered about Don Huber's assertions about sharp reduction in plant resistance to disease when soils become saturated with glyphosate over time. That would be an additional problem with a system where chronic disease becomes a more limiting factor. You can control fungal diseases to a degree with fungicides, insects with pesticides and traits, but there's not much to do about things like Goss wilt other than ritation and plant resistance.

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buckfarmer
Senior Contributor

Re: What ever happened to the ultra high yield continuous corn meme?

Hey hardnox, remember a guy in here who called himself RSW. I think he bought into those theories. I'm just not sure it was in reality.
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farmer46
Senior Contributor

Re: What ever happened to the ultra high yield continuous corn meme?

I feel the only way to find out if somethings works is to try it on your farm.  I now have a test field at 12 years Corn on Corn, the test field has taught be much.  The best crop on the test field was this year. For some reason the corn is getting better each year.  I did notice a somewhat smaller crop in the 3 -5 years.  Since all my corn is strict Notil for 22 years this year. I can compare somewhat.  

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