CNH Industrial, parent company to Case IH has entered into an agreement with AGuru Machinery, a strip-till company based in Congerville, Ill.
"AGuru Machinery expands our capabilities within our strip-till portfolio and serves as a reminder that we are committed to advancing soil management technology, agronomically sustainable practices and the future of farming," says Monte Weller, Case IH global product leader for crop production. "Strip-till is a game-changer for soil health, cost savings and yield productivity."
"We have always said, 'different isn't always better; better is always different,' and we knew this technology partnership would result in continued research and better technology for AGuru and Case IH customers," AGuru president Bill Preller says.
CNH has bought the drawings for AGuru's current product line and now has the right to manufacture the current product line, but AGuru remains an independent business, manufacturer and brand. There are currently no plans in the works for CNH to purchase AGuru in 2023.
"This agreement will allow us to incorporate more options to serve our farmers more effectively and efficiently," says Scott Harris, global brand president for Case IH. "The future of farming depends on ingenuity and creative solutions. At Case IH we've been solving these problems for over 180 years, and we are confident and proud to call AGuru Machinery a partner moving forward."
Preller shared his strip-till vision with Strip-Till Farmer editors this past summer at the 2022 Farm Progress Show.
"There have been some very established players with very good products that are 20 years old," Preller said. "People are looking for what’s new — they want to know what’s different and innovative.
"In the last year, we sold three high-end products to three customers who all fit a very specific profile. They farmed 6,000 acres. They were multi-generational, professional farmers. They had two 4-wheel drives and two field cultivators. They bought our strip-till rig and went 'cold turkey.'
"These aren’t your fringe type operations. They’re mainstream all the way. They received some environmental incentives, but a great deal of their motivation came from the labor savings of strip-till compared to conventional tillage. And then there’s the agronomy aspect of strip-till — it’s a better agronomic system, and these folks are figuring that out. The future of strip-till is the future of row crop agriculture. I believe that strip-till will eventually be a mainstream practice."
WATCH: Bill Preller shows off the unique features of AGuru strip-till equipment.
Preller's prediction is coming to fruition. Today's announcement marks the latest big move in what's been a momentous 4-month stretch in the strip-till equipment market. John Deere officially re-entered the strip-till arena in late 2022, launching a new series of strip-till units that became available for purchase in February 2023.
WATCH: Deere Tillage Product Manager Steve Sporrer unveils new strip-till unit.
Also in February, Unverferth announced the purchase of Orthman Manufacturing, the creator of the popular 1tRIPr strip-till unit. Justin Trout, director of sales, has been with Orthman for 20 years. He says they'll be able to penetrate new markets and expand the strip-till footprint after joining forces with Unverferth.
WATCH: Justin Trout showcases the newest Orthman 1tRIPr.
Earlier this week Yetter Farm Equipment and Fast Ag Solutions announced the creation of a new strip-till bar that's expected to hit the market this summer. The new machine will increase efficiency for farmers with its ability to cover up to 60 acres per hour, says Andy Thompson, A.O.R. manager for Yetter.
24 Row 30" Strip Till Bar✔️— Andy Thompson (@AGandythompson) April 28, 2023
8-10 mph application speed✔️
using 350 hp tractor✔️
applying liquid nitrogen 4" on both sides of seed✔️
2,400 gallon tank✔️
narrow transport ✔️
hydraulic down pressure on wings✔️
FAST DuraPlacer with YETTER Strip Freshener CC's pic.twitter.com/IbibrFHLhq
Curt Davis, Kuhn Krause marketing director, says although strip-till has been around for a long time, it's really started making a push towards the mainstream in recent years.
"Even 12 years ago John Deere launched a strip-till machine," Davis says. "Case IH had a strip-till machine at that point. But strip-till has always been a bit more of a side item than what it's becoming today. There have always been a lot of manufacturers in the strip-till industry but they've been the smaller, regional type companies. Now you see several major companies focusing more on strip-till. I think that's being driven by demand from the customers. The agreement between Deere and ETS started to bring more attention to that.
"With strip till, you're not painting with a broad brush anymore," Davis adds. "Strip-till allows you to manage every acre of the farm for maximum efficiency and productivity. A lot of farmers are driven to strip-till because it allows them to place nutrients exactly where the crop needs them. It's a good conservation practice too because you're only tilling 30% of the entire field. Nutrient placement is the most important aspect, but compaction management is also key — getting air into the soil profile around the root system is just as important as water."