Strip-Tillers Putting Manure In Its Place

Injecting manure into strips allows more efficient use of manure, increases yields and creates a positive public perception of farmers

Strip-tilling and applying manure simultaneously may make as much sense as other dynamic duos in agriculture, like corn and soybeans, ham and eggs and “rain makes grain.”

Combining these tasks can save the time and money of an extra trip, while reducing commercial fertilizer costs, increasing yields and protecting the environment, say several farmers who have tried the practice.

A One-Pass System

Dana Sleezer started strip-tilling with manure years before many people really talked about it, but that was a two-pass system.

“We had the cover discs on the back of the honey wagon,” says the Aurelia, Iowa, corn and soybean grower, who also raises hogs farrow-to-finish. “We would go back with the strip-till machine after applying manure.

“In 2002, we started with a conservation tillage/no-till/strip-till system to apply manure. We would put manure down with six cover discs. But we didn’t get 100% coverage.

“Then we went to strip-till behind the manure tank, which took two passes. In the fall of 2006, we decided it made sense to do it at the same time.”

Then Sleezer added six Ag Systems’ strip-till row units with 30-inch spacings on the honey wagon. He currently has a 7,300-gallon Houle tank with a six-row-unit toolbar, but will be switching to a 9,500-gallon Houle tank with an eight-row-unit toolbar.

Sleezer strip-tills and applies manure in the fall for first-year corn after soybeans and continuous corn.

He runs a lot of half-mile-long rows with one round equaling 1 mile. He applies roughly 3,900 to 4,000…

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Dan Zinkland

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