Strip-Till Offers Consistency With Heavy Clay Soils

A need for better corn stands led these brothers to strip-till

Strip-tillage intrigued Todd and Greg Gustin of Washington Court House, Ohio. For several years, the brothers curiously watched their neighbor’s strip-till bar travel through the fields, the corn emerge quickly and the resulting higher yields.

The brothers were paying close attention to strip till-because they needed better stand counts to compete with conventional tillage. “You can’t consistently straight no-till our heavy clay soils in early spring — because it’s too cold and wet,” Todd explains. In the heavier soils the brothers were not getting consistent stand counts.

“I’m a stickler for stands,” says the younger Gustin, who recently added a precision meter on the vacuum planter to improve seed drop and seeding rates.

In 2002, the Gustins’ neighbors ran a test strip across the brother’s field. Even though the brothers had seen the results on their friend’s farm, they were surprised at the outcome on their own acreage. “We’re definitely making improvements over straight no-till; we don’t have the stand issues,” Todd says about adding strip-till to their cropping system.

After trying strips, the brothers bought the 24-row bar because their friends were buying new equipment. The 7200 Progressive bar is equipped with Remlinger strip-till row units.

Some other strip-till tools are not as aggressive, Todd notes. “It looks kind of rough and a little scary. If you look crossways across the field, at road level, the ground looks like it has been chiseled.” But with freezing and thawing over the winter months, the dirt mellows. In the spring, the…

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