Evening Out Emergence with a Strip-Till System

With 3,200 acres of hilly farmland susceptible to erosion, Kody Karloff’s transition to strip-till has helped create a flexible planting window and more consistent early-season crop health.

Pictured Above: EMERGING BENEFITS. One of the primary goals achieved by Yutan, Neb., farmer Kody Karloff 2 years after transitioning to strip-till from no-till is more consistent and even early plant emergence

When Kody Karloff transitioned from no-till to strip-till 2 years ago, he hoped the move would minimize early-season inconsistencies with corn and soybean emergence. Farming 3,200 acres of rolling hills and sloping ground in Yutan, Neb., one of the challenges Karloff encountered during 15 years of no-till was finding an ideal intersection between his planting window and field conditions.

“I’d get into different soil temperatures and moistures across the board trying to plant and it just never seemed to work. It never seemed to be that perfect time,” he says. “It was always a little wet or a little hard. We’d get corn that was at the V2 stage and then two plants away it would be just spiking out of the ground.

“It was very uneven, so that’s what prompted us to try strip-till as a way to create a better seedbed and more consistency. So far, we’ve been able to accomplish both.”

Absorbing the Benefits

While Karloff struggled with syncing up his no-till planting schedule to match field conditions, his move to strip-till was well timed. Above average spring rains during his first 2 years proved to be a good test of how well the system worked in adverse conditions.

One of the early benefits Karloff saw was less water runoff and quicker infiltration into soils…

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Jack Zemlicka

Jack Zemlicka was the Technology Editor for No-Till Farmer. His coverage included precision farming practices, products and trends, which can improve efficiency and productivity for no-till farmers.

He joined Lessiter Publications Ag Division in 2012 and also served as managing editor of Strip-Till Farmer.

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