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‚ÄčNick and Matt McMichen.JPG

Alabama No-Till Corn Champ Nick McMichen and son Matt

Alabama No-Till Corn Champ Looks Back on 2016 Crop

Eddie McGriff

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


No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated

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


No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated

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


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