Strip-Tilling Helps Farmers Warm Up Soils, Increase Yields

Being patient, managing soil drainage and using RTK and implement steering helps Iowa strip-tillers succeed.

Strip-tilling helps manage residue, increase continuous-corn yields and protect the soil, say four Iowa strip-tillers and an ag retailer who have been using the system for years.

“We like fall strip-till better than spring strip-till,” says Jim Wagner, who farms with his brother, Tom, near Primghar.

The Wagners and strip-tillers Don Ver Meer, Dana Sleezer and ag retailer Craig Struve were panelists at an Iowa State University strip-till field day last summer that drew 175 farmers.

“The biggest reason to strip-till is residue management,” Tom Wagner says. “The longer we no-tilled soybeans, the more residue we had and we really didn’t want to work up soybean stubble well enough to be able to plant corn. You can field cultivate it once or twice, but you still can have beaver mounds and soil warm-up problems.

“With strip-till, there’s 8 to 10 inches of black soil. Strip-till is a way to manage residue rather than fight it.”

The Wagners no-till soybeans on 30-inch rows and strip-till corn. They have a Blu-Jet strip-till bar with a mole knife, coulter residue managers, curving discs and rolling baskets.

When strip-tilling in the fall, the brothers apply anhydrous ammonia. They broadcast phosphate and potash using variable-rate application. For corn after soybeans, they apply 140 to 150 pounds of total nitrogen.

Start Right

The Wagners want to strip-till in the fall. Last fall, they stopped harvesting corn long enough to strip-till while the soil conditions were suitable.

“Residue was a challenge with conventional tillage this spring,” Tom…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives online. Learn more about the different versions and what is included.

Zinkand dan

Dan Zinkland

Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

Subscribe Now

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings