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ETS Rolling Baskets: Field Tested, Customer Approved

Jason Reis’s advice to the Environmental Tillage Systems (ETS) engineers was simple: “Don’t screw it up.”

This past spring Reis, who farms near Lime Springs, Iowa, was among the first farmers to test ETS prototype rolling baskets mounted on the back of his SoilWarrior. Rolling baskets are sturdy metal wheels with blades attached behind the coulters and covering the width of the tilled strip, providing a finishing touch to the soil.

“I told them ‘don’t change it, they run great,’” Reis said. “It leaves a beautiful bed for the seeds to go in.”

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To Shank or not to Shank: Choosing the Right Row Unit

Many farmers are accustomed to doing deep, horizontal, full surface tillage. But with an increasing number of growers researching strip-till, many are asking themselves what type of tillage system is best for their soil.

The great news is ETS manufactures SoilWarrior row units that provide tillage using a cog and coulters or a coulters and shank. Depending upon soil conditions and individual farm goals, each system serves a different and valuable purpose.

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The Soil Warrior’s Guide to Spring Tillage Success


If you are an ETS customer or have spent some time at a conservation tillage conference, chances are you’ve met Kevin Kuehn. Officially, he’s the product support manager for ETS who has been with the company since its inception. Unofficially, he’s a walking strip-till encyclopedia.

Over the years he has gotten hundreds of SoilWarrior machines field-ready and trained operators to feel comfortable using the system. He’s pretty much seen and done it all. Today he is sharing his tips for preparing equipment for spring tillage.  

While this checklist includes some items that are specific to the SoilWarrior system, Kuehn says it’s a comprehensive list that he hopes many farmers will find helpful.

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Fighting Compaction with Strip-Till and a Controlled Traffic System

On February 04, 2015 Leave a comment

This story originally appeared in a January issue of Strip-Till Strategies and is re-posted with permission.

By Ian Gronau, Associate Editor

Over the five generations the Delhotal family has farmed in West Brooklyn, Ill., it’s been important for them to produce high quality crops while caring for the land in an environmentally sustainable way.

The father and son team of Ray and Dave Delhotal have spent the last few years taking aggressive strides toward those goals by adopting a two-pass strip-till system, as well as precision technology and a controlled-traffic system.

“Just this last year, operation-wide, switching to strip-till has saved almost $80,000 in labor, fuel and machinery costs,” says Ray. “All of a sudden you start putting this together and those pennies add up to dollars.”

In addition to the savings, they’ve also seen some yield advantages moving to strip-till.

“We saw a 10- to 40-bushel-per-acre yield advantage with corn when we switched to strip-till,” Dave says. “In some spots last year, we raised some of the best corn we’ve ever seen.”

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My Journey to Strip-Till

By Ben Pederson

It was August 2011, and I was growing restless with our cropping system.  Actually, I was past restless and knew what I wanted to do. 

For 4 or more years, I had researched strip-till as an alternative to the aggressive broadcast tillage we were doing at the time.  I hated field cultivators for the smeared layer they left beneath the surface of that “fluffed” soil, and the virtual “pavement covered in baseballs” left in the wheel tracks of the monstrosity of a tractor that pulled it.  I found disk-ripping every acre of corn stalks, whether they were going to soybeans or corn the following year, frustrating. 

Why were we wasting the time and money to pull a 17 ft wide implement with a 500 hp tractor to blacken up the field a bit? 

Why was I hiring other people to apply my fertilizer in a “spread it to the wind” manner when I knew we were perfectly capable of the task?

All these things and more had brought me to a fever pitch and I was ready to take action. 

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Getting to Know the Tough and Versatile SoilWarrior

On January 07, 2015 Leave a comment

Some have accused us of building the SoilWarrior® too tough. Well, don’t expect an apology for that. We build all of our machines to withstand the rigors of farming in all types of soil and conditions. After all, isn’t that what you expect from your equipment? In fact, the founder of Environmental Tillage Systems is a farmer who designed and built the first SoilWarrior because he didn’t like what was available on the market.

The SoilWarrior isn’t only tough, it’s also versatile and unlike many strip-till units that have to be pieced together, the SoilWarrior is a complete package. The row units, tool bar, fertilizer tanks, and precision technology work together in a variety of ways to help you protect the soil and increase efficiency.

To show you what we mean, let’s take a look at how the SoilWarrior is built - starting with the row units and toolbar.

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