This is the story of how a moldboard plow dramatically changed the soil properties of a field, which was previously managed with years of minimal tillage and cover crops along with one year of strip-till with the SoilWarrior®.
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Uniform distribution of fertilizer is key for optimal crop performance. Consider the following points when planning your fertilizer application.
- As you choose a strip-till method, be sure the fertilizer application method meets your requirements for fertilizer distribution.
- Operate the machine at the correct speed and depth to ensure uniform incorporation.
- Be sure the placement method does not leave a void in which nutrients get concentrated.
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.
The ETS team traveled the Midwest this summer to gather knowledge from leading experts on reducing soil erosion and improving soil health. From North Dakota to Iowa and Ohio, SoilWarrior customers, strip-tillage enthusiasts and farmers alike gathered to share best practices for sustainable land management while improving yield. Since we know you can’t be everywhere, we’re bringing three top resources for better soil management to you. We give an extra thanks to the universities and researchers that hosted us at their field days: Iowa State University, North Dakota State University, The Ohio State University and the University of Minnesota. We appreciate how hard they work to share soil health knowledge and insights with us.
Soil Health & Farm Productivity
Consider the amazing ways earthworms contribute to soil health and farm productivity. Their activity in the soil offers many benefits including increased nutrient availability, better drainage, and a more stable soil structure, all of which help improve farm productivity.
The more Iowa farmer Ben Pederson hears about the use of cover crops, the more convinced he is that it was the right addition to his current cropping practices. Already a strong advocate for strip-tillage, Pederson believes the use of cover crops in his cropping program was an obvious addition. In 2013 when heavy rains prevented him from putting in a crop, he turned to the use of cover crops to prevent erosion and depleted soil health. The positive advantage he saw from the cover crops led him to incorporate them the following year during a normal growing season.
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.
The world of agriculture changes so quickly that farmers need to stay diligent just to keep up. The challenges can multiply when farmers are adopting new or alternative farming practices like strip tillage.
For many farmers considering new conservation tillage practices or looking for innovative ways to improve existing business plans, educational conferences can be extremely valuable. Many shows, conferences, and field days offer growers access to new research, university and industry experts, innovative technology, and the option to connect with other farmers.
Because there are so many options for farmers to consider, here are a few conferences and farm shows that we suggest to help you discover new tillage techniques in 2016.
The following is a guest post written for ETS by Abbey Wick, Extension Soil Specialist, at North Dakota State University. We are proud to support tillage and soil health research (like Abbey's) with the use of our equipment. It is truly an honor to serve farmers who are leading the charge in building healthier soils.
Harvest is an opportunity to be thankful for the blessings in our lives. We have a lot to be grateful for at ETS. At the top of the list are our customers who are defending the land and leading the charge. Today we're in New Zealand with a business owner who is ready for planting...
While farmers in the U.S. and Canada are getting into the heat of harvest, at least one ETS customer on the other side of the world has planting on his mind. John Austin, Managing Director of John Austin Limited, and his team are about to head in to their eighth growing season since adopting strip-till in New Zealand.