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2016 saw significant increases in the number of acres farmers dedicated to strip-till, with measurable growth in both corn and soybean acres over the 2015 cropping year.
Overall, respondents reported strip-tilling a record total of 469,425 acres, a 12% increase over last year’s study total of 433,004. On average, farmers reported strip-tilling about 75% of their total acreage, the highest total in the history of the survey and well ahead of the last two studies, which averaged about 63%.
Interestingly, for the first time in 3 years, the average number of acres farmers strip-tilled declined slightly, from 1,139 in last year’s study to 1,112 this year. However, the average is still well ahead of those reported for the 2015 (948 acres) and 2014 (877) cropping years.
By comparison, the results of the 9th Annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study published by No-Till Farmer earlier this year revealed that 16% of respondents strip-till, up slightly from the prior year’s total (14.2%).
Despite an overall down ag economy, and some strip-tillers acknowledging a shift in acres they allot to corn, the study reflects continued growth in the strip-tilled corn acres and a revival of strip-tilled soybean acres.
In talking with a few strip-tillers, they admitted to making some pre-season planting decisions based in part on the price of corn and soybeans. But when asking the same farmers if they planned to adjust the number of acres they strip-till based on a change to their crop rotation, they didn’t see…