Strip-Tilled Fertilizer Feeds Corn 

Duncombe, Iowa, strip-tiller Arlo Van Diest got straight to the point when he recently hosted about 60 people for a strip-till field day.

“Strip-till makes sense economically and environmentally,” Van Diest says. “And it’s easy.”

Strip-till places fertilizer where corn can use it, he says, in a recent article in Fort Dodge, Iowa,Messenger newspaper.

“You don’t see any yellow strips out here,” Van Diest says. “All of the plants are finding everything they need.”

Strip-tilling corn results in mellower soils and firmer fields that support heavy harvest equipment and do not compact, he says.

“Our ground has changed,” Van Diest says,  “Our equipment floats across fields, where before it dragged.”

Strip-Till Increases Yields, Cuts Costs

Meanwhile, Mooretown, N.D., strip-tiller Mike Piekarski says his yields increased about 20% in his first 3 years of strip-tilling and his costs declined.

Piekarksi says he started strip-tilling to reduce soil erosion from winter winds on his sandy fields, according to an article in The Prairie Star newspaper.

Use Residue Managers On Strip-Till Rigs

Ola Andersson, Cass County agronomy manager for The Arthur Companies, Arthur, N.D., says some farmers in the area no-tilled corn before they started strip-tilling. They switched because of residue management problems as well as farming heavier soils, Andersson says, in same article in The Prairie Star.

Andersson says it’s crucial to have residue managers on strip-till rigs and some strip-tillers also use residue managers on their planter because winter weather moves residue onto the berms. He says there’s potential farther west of Arthur for strip-tilling sugarbeets where soils are lighter.