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The 2021 NATIONAL STRIP-TILLAGE CONFERENCE SPEAKER PROGRAM IS RELEASED!
Here's just a little of what you'll find in Omaha, Aug. 5-6:

✔✔ Discover practical, proven strategies from the industry’s most successful strip-tillers to fit your needs.

✔✔ Exchange new ideas and get proven solutions from other strip-tillers, expert researchers, consultants and industry leaders.

✔✔ Experience unrivaled networking and knowledge sharing opportunities in a diverse learning environment.

✔✔ Gain specific equipment, fertility and soil health tips from your strip-till peers.
 

DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAM NOW >>

 

GENERAL SESSION SPEAKERS

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Dave Hula

Farmer, Charles City, Ca.

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Shattering yield barriers is part of David Hula’s DNA. The Charles City, Va., farmer is known for his record-breaking corn yields, but the results are not based on repetition. Rather, it’s Hula’s willingness to embrace change and accept the challenges of adopting a new farming philosophy. Starting in 2018, the long-time no-tiller began transitioning corn acres on his operation to strip-till, seeking more consistency in early emergence, targeted fertilizer placement and yield growth.
Switching to strip-till offered him the opportunity to increase yield potential without jeopardizing return on investment (ROI) or soil health. Hula’s evolving strip-till system contributed to his capturing the 2019 National Corn Growers Assn.’s high corn yield title with a record of more than 616 bushels per acre.
Hula analyzes the operational challenges, economic gains and growth potential of transitioning to strip- tilled corn, sharing early lessons learned, goals achieved and future objectives.
Get to know Dave Hula a little better.

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Odette Ménard

Agricultural Engineer

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Strip-tillers cite a systematic approach as a key to successful adoption of the practice. But the combination of equipment, nutrient management and berm-building are only pieces of a broader soil health puzzle — whether strip-tillers realize it or not. According to Agricultural Engineer Odette Ménard, soil should be the first consideration farmers take into account when making a systemic transition on their operation. This is especially true with conservation tillage systems to gain a deeper understanding of the influential decisions — positive and nega- tive — farmers can make that enhance or degrade soil health.
Ménard details the critical correlation soil health improvement has on water infiltration, earthworm activity and what the last year taught farmers about a reinvestment in a ground-up approach to biological diversity.

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Tony Vyn

Professor of Agronomy, Purdue Univ.

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Banding vs. broadcast is an age-old question when it comes to nutrient placement in strip-till. But what are the true keys to capturing the most value from targeted nutrient placement?
According to Tony Vyn, professor of agronomy and Henry A. Wallace Chair in Crop Sciences at Purdue University, understanding the proper depth, delivery and distance of placement from the row are essential to making the most of banded fertility. For more than two decades, he has dug into the methods and motivations for optimal fertilizer placement.
Vyn breaks down focused research results comparing strip-till to other tillage system alternatives to include takeaways on nutrient rate, timing and placement in a strip-till system.
Get to know Tony Vyn a little better.

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Megan and Eric Wallendal

Alsum Farms, Grand March, Wis.

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The phrase “change is constant” is an appropriate one to summarize the ever-evolving strip-till operation that Megan Wallendal and her husband, Eric, manage at Alsum Farms, in Grand Marsh, Wis. After nearly a decade of strip-tilling a variety of crops full-time, the third generation farmers still view their system as a work-in-progress, but a progressive one. From transition- ing acres to organic strip-till production, capitalizing on high-value crop production and conducting data-driven nutrient and cover crop field trials, the Wallendals have consistently pushed return on investment on strip-tilled acres, rely- ing on replicated, proven data rather than the status quo.
They share the evolving techniques and intricate experimentation that has shaped their strip-till expectations and where they see the system going next.
Get to know Megan and Eric Wallendal a little better.

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Wayne Fredericks and Jerry Hatfield

Strip-Till Farmer, Osage, Iowa.

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Farmers collect data and make operational changes through- out the course of their farming career. But how much of a correlation is there between the analysis and actual application of in-field information to improve on-farm decision-making? The proof is in the percentages, says Osage, Iowa, strip-tiller Wayne Fredericks, who has seen a 30% reduction of both nitrogen and phosphorus application from using cover crops on his and his wife, Ruth’s, 750-acre operation. Fredericks credits cover crops, along with his commercial corn crop, as a successful combination in sequestering carbon. He has worked with Jerry Hatfield, retired USDA plant physiologist, since the early 1980s, to collect data on his farm’s soil health. Soil testing has revealed an 8% increase in organic matter in 25 years.
The two have collaborated on ongoing research analyzing the impact management changes have on soil health and crop production. Hatfield and Fredericks highlight how data can drive economic and environmentally advanced on-farm decisions to include a move to strip-tilled corn on Frederick’s farm in 2001, incorporation of cover crops in 2012 and detailed analysis of the changes in soil organic matter, crop yield, spatial variation in fields and water and nutrient use efficiency.
Get to know Jerry Hatfield a little better.

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Joe Breker

Farmer, Havana, N.D.

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When it comes to berm building, Havana, N.D., farmer Joe Breker prefers to let nature do his strip-tilling. The veteran no-tiller and strip-tiller has invested in a bio-strip-till system, planting corn into cover crop rows from the prior fall. He uses the method prior to no-tilling corn, sowing high-residue cover crops — primarily turnips and radishes, along with flax and faba beans — into wheat stubble, drilling between what will be next year’s corn rows.
Breker shares how he’s reduced input costs by improving organic matter, banding fertilizer and seeding cover crops, along with the results of the recent combination of 60-inch corn with his bio-strip-till system.
Get to know Joe Brekker a little better.

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CLASSROOM SPEAKERS

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Lance Petersen

Strip-Till Farmer, Rush City, Minn.

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Spring strip-tilling since 2011 on his 750-acre operation in Rush City, Minn., Lance Petersen has literally weathered the best and worst conditions he can imagine. With shallow sandy loam soils that cover heavy clay, a shallow water table and a challenging northern climate, adapting to constant change is an annual challenge.
Petersen’s philosophy of having a “backup plan” to supplement his strip-till system includes equipment innovations to encompass a spring refreshing pass, an evolving nitrogen management program and cover crop experimentation. Petersen shares how developing a plan B maintains a successful strip-till system to include proper spring strip-till equipment setup and a flexible fertility program.
Get to know Lance Petersen a little better.

 

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Joey Hanson

Strip-Till Farmer, Elk Point, S.D.

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When making the transition to strip-till, knowing where to start can be a barrier to success. Selecting the right equipment to match soil conditions, creating an efficient fertility program and properly managing residue are early challenges than can be overcome with education and experimentation.
Elk Point, S.D., strip-tiller Joey Hanson has seen the good, bad and the ugly sides of strip-till, both in his own farming operation and custom strip-tilling for nearly a decade, including more than 10,000 acres in 2020 in Nebraska and South Dakota.
Hanson shares his strip-till successes — and failures — com- pares spring and fall strip-till, row unit setups and advice on how to avoid common mistakes made when transitioning to strip-till.
Get to know Joey Hanson a little better.

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Mike Verdonck

Strip-Till Farmer, Montreal, Quebec

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For Canadian strip-tiller Mike Verdonck, weed pressure, erosion and a reliance on heavy herbicide and fertilizer applications are all symptoms of “sick” soil. The antidote? Reducing tillage, mov- ing to a year-round, multi-species cover cropping system and putting a focus on rebuilding and maintaining soil health.
Verdonck farms 2,500 acres of mostly corn and soybeans near Montreal, Quebec. Farming heavy clay soils, his latitude exposes him to difficult climate challenges, compounded by more than a decade of conventional tillage practices. The transition hasn’t been easy, but a commitment to building biomass through intense cover cropping methods that include inter-crop- ping, bio strip-till and seeding permanent covers, have shaped Verdonck’s philosophy of building soil health through “roots, not shoots.”
Get ready to take notes as Verdonck shares recent results and how he’s overcoming climate and soil conditions to maximize the soil health benefits of a comprehensive cover cropping program.
Get to know Mike Verdonck a little better.

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Scott Hoober

Co-Owner, Hoober Inc., Intercourse, Pa.

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Skepticism is often a part of a strip-tiller’s journey — whether it’s investing in the right equipment, timing berm-building or making economic nutrient management decisions. But results turn skepticism into optimism. Working as a strip-till advocate in the Chesapeake Bay area, Scott Hoober, co-owner of Hoober Inc., a 10-location farm equipment dealership, based in Intercourse, Pa., has seen interest in the practice increase. For over 14 years, Hoober has been working with strip-tillers in the Mid-Atlantic region, conducting nutrient management trials with a local ag service provider on spring strip-till placement of a suspension fertilizer blend of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Hoober shares the results of the field research to include innovative equipment modifications to apply the abrasive “mud” solution, and how it’s provided an opportunity to increase strip-till adoption in the region.

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Jesse Stoller

Farmer, Kentland, Ind.

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For farmers curious about the benefits of reducing their tillage practices, custom strip- till can be an efficient and affordable entry point. For farmers already building strips every year, it can be a lucrative business opportunity.
Kentland, Ind., farmer Jesse Stoller has spent the last few years perfecting his pitch as a custom strip-tiller and he says it pays to crunch the numbers. The Stoller family started strip-tilling in 2014 on their 4,000- acre operation. In 2020, he custom strip-tilled almost 10,000 acres, advising customers on nutrient placement, precision technology application and berm building.
Stoller breaks down the structure of his cus- tom strip-tilling operation, to include pricing and payback, per acre investments and ROI, along with entry-point advice and tips for test driving the practice.

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Clint Robinson

Strip-Till Farmer, Bethany, Ill.

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Cover crops leave a lot of latitude for experimentation. Seeding covers since 2012, Bethany, Ill., strip-tiller Clint Robinson has relished the opportunity to mix and match varieties — sometimes up to 12-way mixes — and seeding methods in an effort to reduce erosion on slopes on his 1,800-acre operation. A successful soil health tool has been relay cropping wheat in between strip-tilled soybeans going to corn. Planting a treated wheat with fungicide on 30-inch rows right after corn harvest, Robinson builds wheat strips 6-8 inches wide, and by the end of April, it’s 12-18 inches tall. He’ll then plant soybeans on 30-inch centers in between those wheat rows and after soybeans are har- vested, seeds a cover crop mix ahead of corn.
Robinson details the reasoning and results of his companion cropping to complement his strip-till system to include termination tips, timing and early lessons learned.
Get to know Clint Robinson a little better.

 

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Gary Gangwer

Strip-Till Farmer, Lafayette, Ind.

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Creating several inches of ideal planting space is a critical component to every strip- till system. But once those berms are built, the next steps in the process of setting up your crop for success can’t be overlooked or taken for granted.
From evaluating planter performance, to early emergence and in-crop nutrient application needs, Lafayette, Ind., strip-tiller Gary Gangwer is dialed into delivering the best growing season environment for his strip-tilled crops on his 1,600-acre operation. To effectively capture the full potential of your strip-till efforts, Gangwer says a starting point is to know your soil, beyond the depth and width of your strips.
He explains answers to questions he posed on his own farm about properly setting up planter row units, choosing complimentary equipment to support strip-till goals and equipping the combine to effectively manage residue.

 

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Scott Foxhoven

Research Assistant, University of Illinois

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Applying fertilizer beneath the soil surface is often the cornerstone of a strip-till system, and understanding the economic and soil health benefits of banded nutrients is key to capitalizing on the value. Putting metrics behind the application methods is a focus of University of Illinois graduate research assistant Scott Foxhoven, who conducts intensive nutrient management trials comparing banded and broadcast fertilizer applications.
For the last 4 years, Foxhoven has led replicated plot research assessing the impact of banded potassium and nitrogen on crop response, including placement in proximity to the seedbed and the safety of applying high-salt fertilizers in the row ahead of planting. Foxhoven shares results of new research which digs into the details of why and how banded fertilizer application can benefit a strip-till system.

 

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Barry and Eli Little

Little Farm, Castlewood, S.D.

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In pursuit of higher soil organic matter, Barry and Eli Little, a father-and-son team farming 1,800 acres of corn and soybeans in Castlewood, S.D., are going all in, aggressively adopting regenerative practices with the aim of creating a highly functioning soil biology with the ability to support high yields on minimal inputs. Strip-tilling corn since 2011, the Littles have evolved their system to include rotational grazing of 200 cow/calf pairs and cover crop inter- seeding starting in 2019. The combination has accelerated their soil health mission, while also cutting pre-planting fertilizer and herbicide application costs by double digits.
The Littles detail the scope and return on investment of their diversified, but interconnected approach to improving soil health, with in-field examples, cover crop interseeding strategies and goals for the future.

 

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Questions about the National Strip-Tillage Conference?

For general conference inquiries contact Strip-Till Farmer
by phone at (866) 839-8455 or (262) 432-0388;
by fax at (262) 786-5564;
or by email at info@striptillfarmer.com

To learn about sponsorship opportunities contact Michael Ellis
at (262) 777-2432 or mellis@lessitermedia.com

To learn about group attendance discounts contact Dallas Ziebell
at (262) 777-2412 or dziebell@lessitermedia.com

 

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