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Population Adjustments Play Into Seeding Strategies for Strip-Tillers

Strip-tillers increase average seeding rates for corn, decrease for soybeans and better than half utilize cover crops in their operations.

Results of the 5th Annual Strip-Till Operational Practices Benchmark study, evaluating 2017 cropping practices, reinforce the value of idea-sharing opportunities embraced by strip-tillers as corn yields, per-farm strip-till acre averages and precision farming technology adoption continued to grow. More than 300 farmers from a record 27 states and Canada who identified themselves as strip-tillers responded to the 40-question survey from No-Till Farmer’s sister publication, Strip-Till Farmer. 

In the following pages — and also within the pages of Strip-Till Farmer’s Summer 2018 issue print issue — we compare and contrast fertilization strategies, cover cropping techniques and technology strip-tillers are putting to work on their operation.

We crunched the numbers again on the top 10% of respondents by average corn yield (261 bushels per acre) and soybean yield (76 bushels per acre) to see what strategies are separating these strip-tillers from the pack.


As farmers dial into determining where and when to push or scale back on seeding rates, strip-tillers have — on average — consistently planted lower populations than no-tillers for both corn and soybeans.

2017 was no different, as results of this year’s 5th Annual Strip-Till Operational Practice Benchmark study continued the trend. Looking at corn seeding populations preferred by strip-tillers, the average increased slightly from 33,219 in 2016 to 33,494 last year. The 2017 average is generally consistent with those from 2015 (32,970) and 2014 (33,194).

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SEEDING SEPARATION. Average corn seeding populations for strip-tillers increased for the second year in a row, while soybean planting populations dropped to their

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Jack Zemlicka

Jack Zemlicka is the Technology Editor for No-Till Farmer. He covers 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 serves as managing editor of Strip-Till Farmer.

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