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Strip-till is an imperfect farming practice and some variables can’t be conquered. But strip-tillers can curb the impact Mother Nature has on their crops with a flexible, progressive system in place, which may include a customized cover-cropping strategy, well-timed strip building and use of implement guidance.
All three areas saw growth during the 2016 cropping season based on analysis of the 4th Annual Strip-Till Operational Benchmark Study. A record 446 farmers from 20 states and Canada who identified themselves as strip-tillers responded to the 40-question survey issued by No-Till Farmer’s sister publication, Strip-Till Farmer.
Results of the 2017 study evaluating 2016 cropping practices confirmed consistency in several foundational practices, including size and setup of strip-till rigs, along with seeding rates for both corn and soybeans. But analysis also revealed some interesting shifts in strip-tillers’ cover crop and fertilizer preferences, compared to prior years.
The collective techniques being applied by strip-tillers proved especially productive in 2016, with a nearly a 10 bushel per-acre bump in average corn yields compared to the past two benchmark studies, and a nearly 5 bushel per-acre bump in soybean yields over 2015 data.
In the following pages, we compare and contrast…