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Alabama No-Till Corn Champ Nick McMichen and son Matt
Alabama No-Till Corn Champ Looks Back on 2016 Crop
Alabama Extension Regional Agent
Alabama farmer Nick McMichen won the 2016 National Corn Growers Association state contest in the no-till/strip-till irrigated category harvesting 284.9 bushels per acre. Nick farms near Centre in northeast Alabama and irrigated his corn out of the winding Coosa River. He no-tilled his corn in soybean stubble that combined 90 bushels per acre in 2015. He planted Dekalb 62-08 at 35,000 seeds per acre in thirty-inch rows.
If you want to finish strong, a good start is important. Nick credits the best planting conditions he had ever had as a key factor in his high yields. He notes, "This was the best start we ever had. All our corn came up within 24 hours. We had more heat during pollination. I believe we would have broken 300 bushels if temperatures would have been more favorable."
Nick believes fertigation helped him overcome some of the effects of the heat and added an extra 10-20 bushels per acre. Nick applied two and a half tons per acre of chicken litter before planting and came back with 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre at V7. He then applied three shots of thirty pounds of nitrogen per acre through the irrigation system with the last two applications dictated by his weekly tissue samples.
Nick says, "Farmers can't keep throwing inputs at a crop, you got to know what going on inside the plant. Weekly tissue samples were critical in showing me my nitrogen to sulfur ratio was out-of-balance. I used some 28-0-0-5 when fertigating but should have used it every time instead of 32-0-0."
Looking back on 2016, Nick says in the future he will up his seeding rate on high yield corn from 35,000 to 40,000 and apply more sulfur.
2016 Alabama Corn Winners
Grower City Hybrid Yield (Bushels per Acre)
1. Stuart Sanderson Madison Pioneer 1319 232.7
*Jason Weber Atmore Pioneer 1197YHR 196.4
2. Mike Tate Meridianville Pioneer 1637YHR 192.3
1. Jason Weber Atmore Dekalb 65-19 229.3
2. Jerry Ward Dozier Pioneer 1319HR 199.4
3. Gregory Key Arab AgriGold 6499VT2/RIB 166.2
1. Nick McMichen Centre Dekalb 62-08 284.9
2. Jeff Tate Meridianville Pioneer 1257YHR 270.1
3. Seth Moore Aliceville Pioneer 1197YHR 247.6
1. Chad Henderson Madison Pioneer 2089YHR 305.7
2. Michael Dehazo Headland Dekalb 62-08 293.6
*Chad Henderson Madison Dekalb 64-87 286.5
3. Brooks Hayes Headland Cropland 6640VT3P/RIB 282.4
Eddie McGriff is an Alabama Extension Regional Agent in NE Alabama. He can be reached at 256-557-2375 or e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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