Where to Find Strip-Till Equipment

Farm Journal logo

The following information is a Web Extra from the pages of Farm Journal. It corresponds with the article "Steps to Strip-Till Success” by Darrell Smith. You can find the article on page 20 in the October 2009 issue.

A number of manufacturers are producing toolbars and planter attachments for strip-till application. For more information about them, visit the following Web sites.

A Strip-Till Skeptic
Although interest in strip-till (and zone tillage, which is similar but includes deeper tillage in the strip) is surging, not everyone is an advocate of the practice. One skeptic is University of Nebraska ag engineer Paul Jasa. It's not that strip-till doesn't work, he says—it's just that he believes farmers can accomplish the same objectives, for less cost, with no-till.
That includes farmers on poorly drained soils in higher-rainfall areas, such as the eastern Corn Belt, where strip-till is used to dry the soil for planting. "If you have excess water, a better solution is to grow it out with a cover crop or intensify the cropping system to have something growing when water is available,” Jasa says.
Close considerations. The same argument applies to warming the soil, which strip-till does by clearing away residue. "Wet soil is colder because heat is required to warm both the water and the soil,” Jasa says. "If the soil structure is such that the water near the soil surface can infiltrate and the residue isn't matted down, so air gets to the soil surface, the soil will warm up naturally without strip-till. During the heat of summer, cooler soil, with residue over the row, results in better rooting, standability and water uptake.”
Strip-till can provide a sense of security, Jasa says. "Some farmers are afraid of the residue left on the soil surface in no-till,” he adds. "If they spend some time in the tractor seat, burn some fuel and blacken some soil, they sleep better. The crop comes up a little quicker when it's planted into a blackened strip—but none of my strip-till trials have yielded any better than properly managed no-till.
"I'd rather leave residue across the entire soil surface and build uniform soil structure, with uniform moisture, using no-till,” Jasa says. "Doing tillage in a strip creates a nonuniform rooting zone.”
When you evaluate strip-till, consider equipment cost, Jasa advises. "When studying data, make sure the systems to which strip-till was compared were properly managed,” he says. "No-till is a systems approach, and it must be done continuously to get the soil benefits. Planting a crop one year without tillage is not no-till because the soil will still have a tilled structure. Also, with no-till, the cropping intensity must be increased.”
Jasa has prepared a short paper addressing questions he receives from farmers about strip-till versus no-till. You can access the paper at http://cropwatch.unl.edu or e-mail Jasa at pjasa1@unl.edu.
For More Information
Find more of Tony Vyn's thoughts about strip-till at http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/aganswers/story.asp?storyID=3474.
***Note the link to Vyn's paper, Strip Tillage Gains Ground and Planting Flexibility for Corn Producers, in the final line of the story.
For more information about how strip-till compares with other tillage systems, read Tillage Road Map.


Latest News

Getting Consumers to Shop Retail’s Deli-Prepared

An online quantitative survey of 1,193 consumers was able to identify opportunities and challenges to getting consumers to shop the deli-prepared section of their grocery store.

20 min ago
Trump Pardons South Dakota Ranchers

President Trump granted full pardons to members of a South Dakota ranching family who were supported by Governor Kristi Noem and Senator Mike Rounds.

5 hours ago
Angus Names Esther McCabe Director of Performance Programs

The American Angus Association® recently named Esther McCabe, Ph.D., a third-generation Angus producer originally from Elk City, Kansas, as director of performance programs.

8 min ago
Alltech E-CO2 has developed the Feeds EA™
Alltech E-CO2 launches Feeds EA™ model to lower feed footprint

As agriculture moves towards more sustainable solutions and ingredients, Alltech E-CO2 has developed the Feeds EA™ model to help feed manufacturers and producers measure and lower the carbon footprint of their feed.

20 min ago
Feeding margins declined
Profit Tracker: Cattle, Hog Margins In The Red

Higher grain prices and lower cash livestock prices contributed to a decline in feeding margins last week, leaving closeouts showing red ink for both cattle and hogs.

1 day ago
CAB Insider: Carcass Value Shifts, a Sign of the Times

Jan. fed cattle prices are normally choppy and we’re seeing that pattern in 2021. A primary difference, compared to 2020, is that last week’s average price is $14/cwt. lower, the same discount as the 5-year average.

18 min ago