Defending the Land Blog

Achieving Seedbed Success with Strip-Till

“The seed doesn’t care what the field looks like from the road. So I decided to make my seed happy, my crop happy and my pocketbook happy with the amount of money I spent on fertility. That’s why I purchased a SoilWarrior®.”

Steven Schuster

Steve Schuster didn’t set out to become a strip-tiller. He wanted to create an optimal seedbed for his crops and become more efficient with fertilizer placement. Strip-till with a SoilWarrior system just happened to provide the solution. Schuster and his wife, Lisa, grow corn, sugarbeets, soybeans, pinto beans and wheat on their fifth-generation farm near Minto, North Dakota. He has three full-time employees who help him run the farm and support a growing seed business.

Schuster Farms Minto ND

“I wasn’t happy with the seedbed we were getting with conventional tillage,” he explained, also noting that in 2020, extreme 40 to 50 mph winds blew thousands of acres of sugarbeets out of fields due to loose topsoil and resulted in huge losses for many farmers.

He was interested in finding a better way to navigate this extreme weather and place fertility that would also help protect the soil and seedlings. Schuster was familiar with strip-till and had looked at different row units and toolbars over the years. He knew farmers who spent years customizing machines to get the results they were looking for. He also knew the SoilWarrior offered a complete system with the 22-inch row spacing needed to match his planter.


“I wanted to spend my time getting fertility rates right and thought the SoilWarrior gave me the best chance to have the right strip-till equipment from the start,” said Schuster. “Since I purchased a 12-row machine in 2020, we’ve had one of the earliest, driest springs anyone in the area has seen, as well as the coldest, wettest and latest. The SoilWarrior helped us adjust and adapt to both.

While he’s still experimenting with nutrient rates, Schuster has already experienced quality improvements in some crops and improved ROI due to reduced labor and passes across the field.


“With conventional, we make five to seven passes. With strip-till, we get it done in one or two. Plus, we can run at a speed of about 7 mph with little to no in-field maintenance,” he explained.

Best of all, he’s been supported by the sales and service crew at Environmental Tillage Systems and other SoilWarrior owners every step of the way.


“When you transition to strip-till with a SoilWarrior, you don’t do it alone. I’ve been surrounded by like- minded individuals who really care about helping me create the right environment to grow the success of my farm,” he said.

Whether you’re looking for a new strip-till system or a new tillage practice, we have options to fit your goals. Get started by sending us a message, and we’ll connect you with a sales team member to help you.

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