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2005 Annual Report: Impact of Stand Loss on No-till Corn Yield


Farmers are continually exploring ideas for alternative crops in hopes of bolstering their income. With the weather variability experienced in the region, rainfall sometimes doesn’t fall at the right times or in sufficient amounts to produce maximum corn yields. To help determine if grain sorghum, milo, is a potential alternative crop for corn in northwest Missouri, a study was initiated to look at yields and comparable planting dates to help determine if milo could replace corn as a viable alternative crop.

Materials and Methods

The second and third years of this study provided a look at drastically different weather than the first year. The plots received abundant and timely rains in both the second and third years. The yield results from this year show excellent yields again as opposed to the reduced yields of the first year.

The three plots this year were, early planted corn, corn planted the same day as the milo and milo. Corn was planted at 28,800 plants per acre and the milo was planted at 102,636 plants per acre.


Yields this year and last year were excellent for both plantings of corn. Yields for 2005 are shown in Table 1. Rainfall in 2005 was timely and abundant leading to excellent corn yields and reduced milo yields. Total rainfall for the year was 25.57 inches during the growing season.

Regular Corn218.0
Late Corn167.8
  • Early corn 218.0 * $1.95 = $425.10
  • Late corn 167.8 * $1.95 = $327.21
  • Milo 48.3 * $1.89 = $ 91.29

Based on this year’s results, it would have been a disadvantage to have planted milo based on the returns Correspondingly, the economic analysis has shown that the year that milo out-yielded the corn the income was better and the net income per acre was higher than for the corn. The other two years with reduced milo yields, even the lower production costs were not enough to offset the yield/income advantage for corn.

This study is slated to continue for at least two more years.