Pros, Cons Of Narrow-Row Strip-Tilling

While some may be mulling over the possibility of narrow-row strip-tilling, no-tiller Joe Breker of Havana, N.D., decided to jot down on paper both the pros and the cons.

PROS:

  • Warmer soil temperatures at no-till planting time.
  • Mellow seedbed.
  • Lessens need for fertilizer on the no-till drill or planter.
  • Can use anhydrous ammonia if applied in the fall.
  • Excellent fertilizer placement.
  • Removes residue from the row.
  • Allows earlier no-till planting.
  • Allows some work to be done in the fall.
  • Allows no-tilling of row crops in northern latitudes.
  • Narrow rows compete with weeds better.
  • Narrow rows have potential for higher no-till yields.

CONS:

  • May require additional equipment.
  • Window for application is sometimes narrow.
  • Do not always have proper soil conditions for fertilizer application.
  • Sometimes soil is too mellow for good no-till planter performance.
  • May be difficult to keep the no-till planter on the row in some conditions.
  • Equipment is more difficult to fit down narrow rows.
  • Crop may be susceptible to lodging at higher plant populations.
  • Equipment may be more expensive because of row width.
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