September 16, 2011
FROM THE DESK OF DAN ZINKAND
Whether you attended the 2011 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill., at the beginning of the month, or traveled elsewhere in the Corn Belt, it's easy — too easy, unfortunately — to find fields of corn that suffered during the dry summer.
While traveling in Illinois last week, I picked up a newspaper that said the state suffered its 13th driest August since 1895. Statewide, August precipitation averaged 2.06 inches — 1.6 inches below average.
With that in mind, it was great to see nice corn and soybean crops at the Sept. 7 strip-till field day near Washburn, Ill.
The field day was hosted by strip-tiller Todd Mooberry, along with his business partner, Jason DeWalt of DM Precision Ag, and Orthman Manufacturing. The Washburn area, about 30 miles north of Peoria, received rains that many other growers would have loved.
A number of people — including Kevin Kimberley of Kimberley Ag Consulting in Maxwell, Iowa, and Chatsworth, Ill., strip-tiller Tim McGreal — said that strip-till performed better in dry years than no-tilled and conventionally tilled corn.
This difference caught the eye of Cresco, Iowa, strip-tiller and crop adviser Frank Moore as he was flying and shooting pictures recently. Moore agreed to follow up with pictures and notes from the ground and provide this information for the Sept. 30 issue of Strip-Till Strategies.
How have your strip-tilled crops performed this year? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (503) 507-4423. We'll share your information in future editions of Strip-Till Strategies.