Strip-till lost the bragging rights about yields to mulch-till in a 4-year onfarm study conducted in Illinois. But profits from strip-tilling topped those of mulch-till and no-till in the study done from 2000 through 2003, according to a University of Illinois report.

The yields over the 4-year study were not significantly different, with mulch-till averaging 166.8 bushels per acre, strip-till producing 165.3 bushels per acre and no-till yielding 163.1 bushels per acre.

But the complete economic picture favored strip-till. Because of lowered production costs, strip-till had an advantage of $3.79 per acre over mulch-till and $1.40 per acre compared to no-till.

The study ran field-scale trials on 80-acre plots at 11 farms throughout the state, ensuring that the trials were conducted in a variety of soil types and climates.

Strip-till might have come out even further ahead of no-till, but the spring of 2000 and 2001 were both warm and dry. Strip-till’s advantage over no- till typically shows up in wet, cold springs when its seedbed is warmer and drier.