Building Spring Strips When It Didn’t Get Done

If a late harvest didn’t allow you to strip-till last fall, making shallower berms and splitting fertilizer this spring can help you stay on track

While many strip-tillers would have preferred to build strips and put down fertilizer in the fall, a late harvest prevented much of the work from being completed.

With the understanding that you’ll need to make time for an extra task this spring, strip-tilling just ahead of the corn planter will work with just a few adjustments to your normal fall setup. Just ask Lowpoint, Ill., strip-tiller Todd Mooberry, who has strip-tilled his corn in the spring for 8 years.

“I wouldn’t give up on the strips,” says Mooberry, who customs strip-tills and co-owns D& M Precision Ag.

He’s committed to strip-tilling corn this spring, even though he only got 80 of his 1,800 acres of corn ground stripped last fall due to wet weather. He farms about 2,200 acres of continuous corn, strip-tilling the majority and no-tilling the rest.

As a strip-tiller who planned, but couldn’t build strips or place fertilizer last fall, Mooberry has lots of company, says Mike Petersen, precision-tillage agronomist for Orthman.

Petersen estimates only 25% to 30% of acres that would have been stripped in the fall were completed due to lousy, wet weather delaying harvest.

In recent years, 75% to 80% of the strip-tilled acres in the Corn Belt are done in the fall, Petersen says.

The acres that were strip-tilled were likely ones where farmers harvested their beans, while it’s less likely that continuous corn acres were fall strip-tilled, Petersen says.

Andy Thompson, sales manager for Yetter Manufacturing Co., says “very little” corn is…

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Dan Zinkland

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