Strip-Tillage: A Sustainable Effort

It didn’t take much for Matt Rich­mond, Midwest field technology lead with Wilbur-Ellis Co., Onida, SD, to convince Thad Beringer to try strip-tillage on his farm last year. With benefits like favorable soil temperature, adequate moisture for seed germination and early emergence, Beringer was on board.

“In this part of the country, most farmers practice no-till farming because of our lighter, well-drained soils,” says Beringer, who farms winter and spring wheat, corn and sunflowers near Gettysburg, SD. “Strip-till is a great way to get the benefits of tillage while leaving the inter-row untilled, retaining crop residues and protecting the soil from erosion.” In addition, the 11-bushel-per-acre yield gain compared to his no-till corn fields is the reason he plans to strip till more acres next year.

Strip-tilling combines the best components of conventional tillage with the benefits of no till. In the fall, strip-till creates strips of exposed soil, broken up by a coulter. In the spring, the strip of exposed soil warms and dries faster to promote fast root growth, rapid germination and nutrient uptake. The surrounding residue also helps maintain moisture throughout the growing season.

Strip-tillage also gives the advantage of getting in the field earlier to optimize yields, have drier corn at harvest and a greater window of opportunity for replant decisions, compared to no-till, which delays soil warming and drying in the early spring thus affecting germination and emergence. “Not only was I able to plant my strip-tilled fields earlier than my no-till fields, but the soil to seed contact was significantly better in wetter conditions,” says Beringer.

Using Innovative Technologies

Wilbur-Ellis’ Richmond is a strong believer in strip-tillage because of the yield, planting and fertilizer placement advantages. Between the spring and fall of 2013, the retailer custom strip-tilled more than 10,000 acres and saw an average corn yield advantage of 13 bushels per acre compared to no-till.

As one of the few ag retailers in central South Dakota that offers custom strip-tillage and variable-rate fertilizer placement, Wilbur Ellis recently acquired a second 24-row SoilWarrior N 5060 to meet growing demand. Environmental Tillage System’s SoilWarrior N provides targeted seed zone preparation while blending fertilizer throughout the root zone providing optimal fertilizer placement and ideal seed bed. “Banding into the soil has made our fertility programs a lot more effective and efficient,” Richmond notes. “Zone tillage also creates an even furrow for planting and allows for good depth control for favorable germination.

“Zone tillage allows growers to increase their fertilizer rates applied in the ground before planting,” explains Richmond. “Conventionally, fertilizer is applied with planter attachments, limiting the amount that’s applied.”

Precise fertilizer placement allows available nutrients to be taken up at the critical early stages of growth to maximize yield potential. One-pass tillage and fertilizer placement also saves trips across the field, reducing input costs.

It’s Beringer’s goal to eventually strip-till every acre. “Besides the benefits in our corn acres, we’ve also seen an increase in stands and a 300 pound per acre yield gain on our sunflower fields,” he says. “If one system can benefit multiple crops, it’s a good investment.”

Leave a Reply

Stewardship Stories

Fall Creek Watershed
StewardshipUpdate: Nutrient Stewardship In Indiana Requires Cool, Clean Collaboration
February 24, 2017
Update: The application deadline for NCRS funding has been extended to March 17, 2017. Green leaves sparkle in the sunlight. Trees Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
StewardshipMeister Media Among 2017 Award Winners Presented By The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance
February 21, 2017
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) held its annual conference in San Diego, CA, earlier this month where three awards were Read More
Ford B. West Center For Responsible Agriculture, Asmark Institute
LegislationResponsibleAg Sends Positive Message To Lawmakers, Communities
February 1, 2017
Kansas ag retailers have historically prided themselves at being compliant with existing safety rules. So, there was some natural resistance Read More
Fall Creek Seth Harden The Nature Conservancy
StewardshipLocal Farmers’ Watershed Initiative: Continuous Improvement Is Possible In 5 Key Areas
January 13, 2017
The goal in the Big Pine Watershed Project is to more intentionally do what local farmers and responsible ag retailers Read More
Trending Articles
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Latest News
Soybean Plant closeup
HerbicidesRegional Listening Sessions Give Farmers A Voice In The…
February 27, 2017
Both scientists and regulators have had a lot to say about the growing problem of herbicide resistance and how weed Read More
Greystone Construction built the tension membrane fertilizer storage building (left) and steel seed treater building (right)
CropLife 100Pinnacle Announces Successful Exchange Offer Results An…
February 27, 2017
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC has announced today the early tender results of its previously announced offer to exchange (the “Exchange Read More
IEI Barge Fertilizer Potash Port Terminal
EquipmentLegacy Building Solutions Receives Design-Build Merit A…
February 27, 2017
When IEI Barge Services needed a building capable of storing and loading fertilizer, they turned to Legacy Building Solutions to Read More
ManagementSouth Africa Update and the New New Leader G5
February 24, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Dan Jacobs discuss the recent visit to South Africa by sister magazine AgriBusiness Global and the Read More
Fall Creek Watershed
StewardshipUpdate: Nutrient Stewardship In Indiana Requires Cool, …
February 24, 2017
Update: The application deadline for NCRS funding has been extended to March 17, 2017. Green leaves sparkle in the sunlight. Trees Read More
Greenleaf Technologies TADF03-D Dual Fan Nozzle
NozzlesSix Greenleaf Nozzles Approved For XtendiMax With Vapor…
February 22, 2017
Greenleaf Technologies has announced that six of its TurboDrop D Series nozzles have been approved for use with Monsanto’s XtendiMax Read More
Winter Wheat
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Hires Manitoba And Eastern Canada Account Man…
February 22, 2017
Tiger-Sul, a global leader in sulphur fertilizers and crop performance products, has announced that sales veteran Trevor Loewen has joined Read More
NFMS 17 Hagie Sprayer
Eric SfiligojThe Read From Louisville: Uncertain
February 22, 2017
By the time this column appears across the country, the annual Commodity Classic will be in full swing. This means Read More
SprayersApache 1000 Series Sprayer Earns 2017 EquipmentWatch Hi…
February 21, 2017
ET Works has been named a winner in the 2017 EquipmentWatch Highest Retained Value Awards program, the industry’s only award Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
StewardshipMeister Media Among 2017 Award Winners Presented By The…
February 21, 2017
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) held its annual conference in San Diego, CA, earlier this month where three awards were Read More
John Reifsteck
CropLife 100GROWMARK’s Reifsteck Earns NCFC Director Of The Y…
February 21, 2017
GROWMARK Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck has earned the prestigious Director of the Year Award from the Read More
Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts …
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmatio…
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by S…
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
ManagementFebruary Road Trip Edition
February 17, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent visits to Indiana and Kentucky. Read More
Heritage Cooperative Finished Building Aerial
ManagementHeritage Cooperative, Agland Co-op Approve Merger
February 17, 2017
Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative stockholders have both approved the merger agreement between Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative. Now begins Read More
LegislationARA Fly-In: Ag Retail Descends on Capitol Hill, Lawmake…
February 15, 2017
More than 100 agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for the Agribusiness Congressional Fly-in, according to a Read More
Untreated soybean seed Heartland Coop
Seed/BiotechMarrone Bio Innovations, Groundwork BioAg Bio-stacked M…
February 13, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. and Groundwork BioAg, Ltd have announced successful seed treatment field trials of the world’s first all-biological Read More