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The Strip-Till Advantage

In an online discussion on the Farmer’s Forum, some no-tillers addressed the advantages of strip-tilling. Here’s their thoughts:

There is much discussion on the No-Till Farmer bulletin board about Martin row cleaners, spading wheels and strip-till.

It seems a no-till planter equipped with the two Martin attachments would have the same effect as strip-tilling and then planting.

Why would someone make two trips to do a job that could be accomplished in only one?

—Richard Jameson, 
jamesonfarms@pchnet.com

It is difficult to argue with anyone’s success with any one system. Ray Rawson’s success with zone tillage is very impressive. Others are more impressed with Francis Child’s results with mini-moldboard plowing. The bottom line is that we all have to find what works best for us.

The people who read this page tend to lean toward the things they talk about and that is how the discussion evolved. This does not make it right or wrong, and the discussion centers on what we are doing or considering.

—Ed Winkle, ffa@voyager.net

Several researchers in the Corn Belt show some strip-till yield advantages in the range of 5 to 10 bushels per acre if averaged over multiple years.

This yield response probably doesn’t justify a separate trip over the field with an expensive and specialized strip-till rig. And it must be done during a time of the year when you should be harvesting your no-till corn and soybeans.

Early winter or fall rains in some years will prevent you from getting the strip-tilling done…

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