Upgrading Precision Tools, ‘Brainware’ Offers Peace of Mind for No-Tiller, Strip-Tiller

A properly outfitted strip-till bar, RTK guidance and self-propelled sprayer help Cade Bushnell tap into the mechanical and analytical potential with his 1,300-acre operation.

Pictured Above: LEARNING CURVE. Strategies Stillman Valley, Ill., farmer Cade Bushnell uses to get the biggest return from his erodible and low-organic-matter soils include paying close attention to residue management and using precisely timed and calculated nitrogen (N) applications during the growing season. The changes he’s made have been worth the effort, he says, as he’s averaging 200 bushels per acre on his strip-tilled corn-on-corn fields

As Stillman Valley, Ill., farmer Cade Bushnell rolls out newer technology on his 1,300-acre farm, he’s had a lot of success with mechanical alterations.

But one areas he’s struggling with is tapping the potential of precision data, especially analyzing data pulled from equipment to make more informed adjustments to his operation.

“The amount of data we’re generating and have generated over the years requires a lot of time and energy from someone to go through,” says Bushnell. “Quite frankly, I don’t do a very good job of it. I’m a farmer because I enjoy raising crops, not because I enjoy sitting at a computer.”

Despite this, Bushnell is a great believer in bringing precision technology, new implements and farm management changes to the operation. He even has a personal philosophy on the rate at which farmers should be adopting technology.

“We really need to be using all the technology that’s available,” he says. “I don’t want to be the first person to get it, but I don’t be the last person to get it either. I want to be an early adopter, but not…

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Ian Gronau

Ian Gronau is a Contributing Editor for Lessiter Publications, with primary support responsibilities for Precision Farming Dealer, Strip-Till Strategies and the Strip-Till Farmer Website. He is a graduate of Chicago’s Columbia College and has been preparing content for magazines, websites and newspapers since 2009, and has been recognized with several awards.

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