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WE STARTED no-tilling in the early 2000s, and in 2010 started strip-tilling before we went full-bore into it in 2013 and eliminated all conventional tillage. In 2017, we completely eliminated broadcast fertilizer applications and went 100% strip-till for both corn and soybeans which was a goal that I had set in 2013.
Now that we’ve made the transition to strip-till from conventional tillage, we’re expecting a lot more out of our equipment. We’re running in much tougher conditions and going to find those flaws in the field earlier in the season.
Our mistakes are spread across more acres. Just one little mistake, like a broken spring on a closing wheel or something like that, can cost valuable time and money.
I’m sure every single one of us has planted 80 acres, then stopped to fill up with seed, walked around the planter and wondered ‘Did that spring fall off during the last pass or was it two fields ago?’ Breakdowns cost a lot of money.
So here are a few lessons learned from my experience preparing for planting and trying to prevent and plan for potential problems before I get into the field.
In my opinion, disc openers get overlooked a lot more than they should. I can’t tell you how many farmers, at least in our area, will run a planter 4-5 years and never even put openers on the row units.
They are relatively cheap for what they’re doing. We try to replace them at least…