Strip-tillage may be a new term to some of those in the farming industry, but for three neighbors, strip-till has been on their farms for over two decades. Each farmer has discovered benefits from using strip-till on their operation. While their equipment may differ, their soil and yields are thriving as a result of their practices. Meet these three farmers from Morristown, Minnesota, and discover the differences in their strip-tillage operations.
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Danny Beach is no stranger to the rocky conditions of western New York. Being surrounded by production agriculture his whole life, he knows that rocks can cause many costly problems. He has seen farmers year after year trying to combat the rocks in all their fields. The frustration grows as rocks are always a problem, and the solution to the problem isn’t clear. Let’s see what Danny has to say about dealing with rocky field conditions in western New York.
When talking with a grower that doesn’t practice strip-till or has never heard of the SoilWarrior, I often remind myself about what drew me to the SoilWarrior and put myself in their shoes.
The term strip-till may be foreign to some or the idea of changing a practice that has been done for many years on your farm can be mind-boggling. Until you can fully comprehend that strip-till is a systematic approach and not a cure-all, you may be telling yourself every reason in the book about why it won’t work on your farm.
From service to sales, Tanner Schuldt has had a wide array of experiences with the SoilWarrior. He can confidently say he has operated the SoilWarrior for many hours through different terrains and weather conditions.
Farmer is just one of the many titles Minnesota farmer David Legvold has held throughout his lifetime. He’s also been a teacher, executive director of a non-profit watershed organization, a controller at his local John Deere dealer, and most recently the driver of the instrument semi for the orchestra and band at St. Olaf College.
This adventurous spirit that pushes him to think outside the box when it comes to farming. It’s the reason he purchased an 8-row SoilWarrior strip-till system in 2008 after he realized that his original thought of running a diverse organic farm wasn’t working. His disaggregated soils were washing and blowing away due to too much tillage. And the most environmentally-friendly way for him to manage soil and fertilizer for optimal yield was by tilling a 12-inch wide zone, leaving the rest of his field covered with crop residue to protect it from erosion.
As Dr. Steven Carlson walked a strip-tilled field near his home in Albert Lea, MN this past summer, he noticed something missing: soil compaction. Penetrometer readings from the neighbor’s conventionally tilled field had measured compacted soil at 15 inches, but this field was consistently showing none.
It was also teeming with earthworms.