Defending the Land Blog

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Finding a Better Way to Manage Soil & Nutrients

Meet 2016 4R Advocate Darin Stolte

If you’re young and progressive, you can identify with this farmer. He was chosen as a 2016 4R Advocate by the Fertilizer Institute for his focus on nutrient stewardship. Since then, he’s sought out more practices and innovations that help him achieve the goals of 4R Nutrient Stewardship. He’s been using strip-till on his eastern Iowa farm since 2018. He has a passion for sharing what he’s learned with other farmers, like you. In fact, he hosted the 2019 Iowa 4R Field Day on his farm. We had the opportunity to ask him some questions about his farming operation and practices this past spring. See what he had to say - meet Darin.

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5 Characteristics of a Good SoilWarrior Operator

Purchasing new farm equipment takes time and consideration. Equally important is finding an operator for your new piece of equipment. At Environmental Tillage Systems (ETS), our customers often tell us one key to their success is having a skilled operator for their SoilWarrior. 

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Social Media Adds to SoilWarrior Experience for Coffman

Dan Coffman isn't just a customer who runs a SoilWarrior. Coffman adds to his SoilWarrior experience by sharing updates from his operation on social media regularly. 

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ETS Customers Attend National Strip-Tillage Conference

Many Environmental Tillage Systems customers are interested in learning more about strip-tillage practices, even after they purchase a machine. We caught up with Ron Frankenstein and Darin Stolte at National Strip-Tillage Conference to ask them about their experiences at the conference and running a SoilWarrior. 

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23 Years of Award-Winning NCGA Yields

From Oakes, ND, the Quandt family has had award-winning entries in the NCGA yield contest since 1993. One secret to their recent success is strip-tillage. The farm began strip-tilling in 2001 and transitioned 95% of the farm to strip-tillage seven years ago. They have used the SoilWarrior® zone tillage and nutrient management system on their farm for the past five years.

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Four Strategies to Improve Your Soil


The ETS team joined over 200 strip-till enthusiasts in Bloomington, IN at the beginning of August to share best practices for soil health at the National Strip-Till Conference. Of the many agronomists, consultants and farmers that presented at the conference, we are featuring four on our Defending the Land blog. Read on to learn about their strategies for improving soil.

The SoilWarrior with rolling coulters works well for Groholske; it rolls over rocks rather than pulling them to the surface.

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Spring Strip-Till Q & A with Mike Thede

With the hustle and bustle of spring tillage and planting behind us, we talked to a few of our SoilWarrior customers across the country to find out how things are shaping up in the field.

A 13-year strip-till farmer from Palmer, Nebraska, Mike Thede has been using a SoilWarrior on his corn and soybean operation for 6 years. He tells us about his fall tillage practices, his recent trial with cover crops, strip-till challenges unique to sandy soils, and his secrets to strip-tillage success.

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Spring Strip-Till Q & A with Curt Snyder

With the hustle and bustle of spring tillage and planting behind us, we talked to a few of our SoilWarrior customers across the country to find out how things are shaping up in the field.

Curt Snyder, a first-year strip-tiller from Fulton, Illinois, tells us about his experience so far with the SoilWarrior.

Q: What type of tillage were you doing before strip-tillage?

A: Before moving to strip-tillage I was doing an inline rip on a tillage pass and applying fall ammonia with vertical tillage. My vertical tillage acres were 15 bushels per acre higher than conventional tillage in a dry year.

Q: What was your tillage plan in the spring?

A: I did not do spring strip tillage this year. I might try some sandier, lighter ground in the spring in the future. I don’t want to put the compaction out there at that time of year. I put nitrogen on the planter and sidedress the rest.

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Spring Strip-Till Q & A with Dennis Smith

Spring tillage and planting are underway across the U.S. and Canada so we checked in with some of our customers - new and seasoned - to find out how things are shaping up in the field.

First up is Dennis Smith from Ames, Iowa. Dennis has been strip-tilling corn and soybeans for 11 years. He began his conservation tillage journey with a SoilWarrior prototype and is now on his fourth machine. Though he tweaks his crop and fertility plans a bit each year, zone tillage with the SoilWarrioris a consistant winning combination for his farm business.

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Ryberg Farms Cuts Input Costs and Labor with Strip-Till

Brian Ryberg may be a relative newcomer to strip-till, but you’d be hard pressed to find a farmer more committed to it. Ryberg Farms near Buffalo Lake, Minnesota, grows corn, soybeans, and sugarbeets. He began farming with his father more than 30 years ago and now runs the operation with his wife and two employees.

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