AHEAD ON COSTS. A neighbor yielded 2 more bushels per acre of soybeans than the Entingers did, but the Entingers did better financially by $65-70 per acre, due to cost savings on tillage.

Profiting with One Pass Strip-Tilling

A Minnesota strip-tiller has saved money and time while maximizing his soil, but it required a shift in mindset.

Greg Entinger calls himself an accidental conservationist. When he first started strip-tilling, the grower from New Prague, Minn., wasn’t doing so because he was on the soil health bandwagon

“I was looking at saving money,” he says. “I wanted a one or two-pass system to cut down on time and everything else. I wanted to decrease my equipment size, rather than go bigger. I didn’t want to buy a 500-horsepower tractor.” 

Entinger took over the family farm in 2013 after his father passed away and did all conventional farming in 2013 and 2014 on the 1,050 acres split evenly between corn and soybeans. 

Lofty Goals

“I wanted to produce 250-bushels corn,” he says. “I worked with the cooperative to put out enough fertilizer to produce 250 bushels per acre.”

But that goal didn’t pan out. Entinger tried again the following year. After two years of failures, he decided that his soil is incapable of growing 250-bushel corn.

“My soil can do 220 bushels per acre of corn, but not 250,” he says. “So, my mentality changed. I figured out how to make money at 180 bushels instead of losing money at 250 bushels of corn. If I can make money at 180 bushels an acre, and I’m growing 210 bushels an acre, then that’s 30 bushels per acre of profit.”

This shift in mindset means letting go of the ego boost that comes with being the grower achieving the highest yield in the county.

“I’d rather be the guy in…

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Sarah hill web

Sarah Hill

Sarah Hill is associate editor for the ag division, contributing primarily to Precision Farming Dealer, Strip-Till Farmer, No-Till Farmer and Cover Crop Strategies. Hill has a farm background and graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Ag Journalism and a minor in Animal Science. She has previously served as managing editor of DairyBusiness and is a member of the National Agri-Marketing Association and American Ag Editors’ Association.

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