Brad Hinrichs farms some land blessed with some of the richest black soil in Nebraska. It’s a perfect match for irrigated continuous corn grown in a ridge-till system. An extra in-season shot of urea boosts growth, as do one or two cultivations that help conserve precious moisture.(?)

Hinrichs, Fairfield, NE, grows corn and soybeans. Most is in a corn-bean rotation, with about a quarter of his corn following corn.

“I have some really good river ground that works well in my ridge-till continuous corn,” Hinrichs says. “I rotate the corn-on-corn acres back into beans after two or three years. The ridge-till system holds the moisture and works a lot better than no-till for me. Ridge-till picks up trash and puts it down in the bottom of the furrow and makes a blanket.”

Tissue samples tell Hinrichs he usually needs to come back with 40-50 lbs. of 28% N when plants are 6-8 in. high. He then cultivates at about knee high. If weeds are particularly bad, he applies glyphosate or another herbicide. “But usually, by the time I cultivate, two weeks later the canopy is shut,” he says.

Disease is rare but he still scouts for gray leaf spot and other problems. Like other growers, he is sold on applying a fungicide on continuous corn, whether he has a disease situation or not. “My yields are within 5-10 bu./acre of my corn in a soybean rotation,” Hinrichs says.