From the time the idea of the SoilWarrior came to life, Environmental Tillage Systems have done their best to revolutionize their production to meet the needs of their owners and operators. Since ETS began in 2004, the company and its products have pursued a progressive path to meet the current needs of their clients and lead the industry towards the future of strip-tillage.
In 2008, a farmer from Blue Earth, Minnesota made the leap to change his operation’s tillage practices from conventional to strip-till. Jim Erdahl felt his farm needed to be more efficient and sustainable. He spent time on his research to find the best piece of equipment to match his operation’s needs. After research, Erdahl decided that the SoilWarrior would be the best fit for his farm.
“When we first began strip-tilling, we wanted to be a sustainable farm and we needed the right equipment to do that,” said Erdahl. “We are happy with our [first] SoilWarrior and its performance. With our soil, the conditions of it differ due to the weather. We can’t sit around waiting for the perfect conditions to run in. The SoilWarrior offers us the ability to run in many situations.”
After his first purchase over ten years ago, Erdahl knew it was time to invest in a new piece of equipment. Erdahl’s son-in-law, Matt Alford, who has become very familiar with the SoilWarrior also agreed it was time for an upgrade.
“We felt that it was time to purchase a new SoilWarrior because we were placing a lot more energy into the management of the machine,” said Alford.
Even though their operation currently ran a SoilWarrior, Erdahl was curious to see what else was on the market. He and Alford spent time researching the new machines, and what other brands had to offer but decided on staying with Environmental Tillage Systems.
“[ETS has] standardized the most popular options and the most beneficial to the customer long term. All of the meter bodies are stainless steel. We used to offer both mild steel and stainless, but we reduced our company SKU’s by eliminating the mild steel meter body, which makes us more efficient,” Kevin Born, CEO of Environmental Tillage Systems explains the steps of advancement the company has taken to better their production. “The customer ultimately gets a better and longer lasting finished product for [their] money.”
Director of Marketing for ETS, Caitlin Keck, said that the progression of the SoilWarrior is even more beneficial to farmers than it was before. Keck works closely with present and future customers promoting the SoilWarrior and strip-tillage.
“The SoilWarrior being able to hook up to different types of tractors with the use of the SoilWarrior ISOBUS Control Module is a key advancement. With the new rolling baskets and lead coulters, it gives the farmers the options to customize what their zone looks like when they use the row unit. They have more options now for different soil types and soil conditions,” said Keck. “The overall start up and set of the machine completed in house is better and the service technicians aren’t having to spend much time on the farm for set up.”
“[ETS] has done a great job progressing in making the machine,” said Erdahl. Their old machine does not have the upgraded frame, it did not come with the technology of the SoilWarrior ISOBUS Control Module (SWICM), nor does it have the steel meter bodies that will come with their 2020 SoilWarrior. He is excited to utilize their new machine next strip-tillage season.
“The new SoilWarrior is just what we were looking for. We looked for other options, but what fit us best is what this machine has to offer,” said Erdahl.
The regional sales managers that have worked with Erdahl and Alford are Dave Sender and Tanner Schuldt . Combined, these two have a great deal of experience and knowledge of the SoilWarrior. They understand the positives of what a new SoilWarrior can bring to your operation.
“When customers are thinking about upgrading their machine, one of the first things to consider is the technology on their machine,” said Sender.
“I’d like to add that with our SWICM system, it's made just for the SoilWarrior and it allows the SoilWarrior to work with most technologies,” Schuldt said. As for their used SoilWarrior, Erdahl says they have to find the right clientele to purchase it.
“We need to find someone thinking about moving to strip-tillage and [our] unit is flexible with both systems. We will need to be patient in finding the right new owner of this machine because [strip-tillage] is new in our area.”
When it comes to the resale value of a used SoilWarrior, the construction of the machine plays a large part. The overall durability makes it easier for a farmer wanting to upgrade their machine.
“The resale value of our machines is high because they are so durable and can last longer than most other pieces of tillage equipment,” said Keck. “For a farmer wanting to upgrade, their SoilWarrior is going to be worth more than any other piece of tillage equipment.”
Schuldt added, “We are seeing pretty good value on used machines. Used machines don’t often stay on the market.”
The new SoilWarrior was delivered to the Erdahl operation this fall. The conditions were perfect to run the SoilWarrior. Both Erdahl and Alford were most excited to see the SoilWarrior run through their corn residue. A few months after the machine was delivered and they ran their new SoilWarrior, ETS reached out to both Erdahl and Alford about their experience.
“With a new machine, you always have some growing pains learning how to use the new features and things on it, but it went very well. ETS backed us up with good technical service so we were very happy,” Erdahl said.
“We ran the new SoilWarrior on 3300 acres this fall, and it was a good experience,” said Alford. “The addition of row cleaners was a major advantage and the capacity of the tank.”
The veteran SoilWarrior owners were overall impressed by their new machine. They had high expectations from their previous machine and this new one was no different.
“We went from a cog system to a shallow system. It is a just a well-balanced machine with a lot of productivity to it; it’s built well. The SoilWarrior is an important puzzle piece to our farm,” Erdahl said. “We are very satisfied with this new one.”
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