Brothers Create Custom Strip-Till Business

Morristown, Minn., farmers Dan and Dennis Morgan recently started custom strip-tilling in the fall of 2007. According to a recent story in Corn and Soybean Digest, the brothers began doing custom fertilizer application in 1990 and felt banding fertilizer in strips in the fall would improve fertilizer efficiency.

They started in 2007 with a used 12-row Ag Systems strip-till rig, then bought a 16-row Case IH strip-till rig in 2009 when they strip-tilled 3,000 acres.

The Morgans set their custom strip-till rate on the low side to build business, charging $15 per acre. They raised that to $16 per acre in the fall of 2008 to pay for higher fuel prices.

“If you have the machinery capacity and are looking for extra work, there’s opportunity,” Dan Morgan says.

Combining The Best Of Strip-Till And No-Till

In Hooker, Okla., Fred Fischer believes he has the best of strip-till and no-till, a recent article in Successful Farming reports.

Fischer uses a set of low-disturbance Wako no-till offset coulters on his strip-till rig. The coulters run 3 inches to the side of where a row will be planted.

“They cut about 3 inches deep and place a band of anhydrous ammonia and 9-24-3 Agro-Culture fertilizer at that depth,” Fischer says.

Fischer farms with his brother, Roger. They had Bigham Brothers of Lubbock, Texas, build the 40-foot-wide frame of their 16-row strip-till rig. The Fischers no longer use a shank when strip-tilling, saying they lost too much soil moisture and had to deal with clods at planting.

Minnesotan Starts Strip-Tilling With Help From USDA's EQIP

While funding for the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) has been threatened by cuts from the Obama Administration and the Senate Agriculture Committee, EQIP funds made it possible for Greg Fynboh to start strip-tilling in 2009.

Fynboh, who farms near Donnelly, Minn., received money from EQIP to buy a used B&H Manufacturing strip-till rig, an article in The Minnesota Farm Guide reports.  Fynboh’s strip-till rig has residue cleaners, followed by shanks and berming discs.

He applied about half of his nitrogen and phosphate for his corn crop last fall. Fynboh planned to use 10-34-0 as a popup fertilizer while planting corn, as well as sidedressing 28% nitrogen before the corn emerged.

The strip-tilled berms looked good when Fynboh scouted them in mid-April.

“The mounds are still there, although they have settled down a bit,” he says.