Source: Sustainable Conservation

In July, Sustainable Conservation and California Ag Solutions hosted the third annual Conservation Tillage Coach Tour. The tour provided a forum for dairy farmers to ask fellow dairy farmers about strip-till. Attendees toured 3 dairies that recently adopted strip-till systems: Barroso Dairy, Ahlem Ranch, and Wickstrom Dairy.

During the tour, the farmers explained that the increased precision of tillage and planting gave them the option to upgrade to more precise irrigation systems and thus use water more efficiently — a great boon in a record-breaking drought.

Additionally, plants in strip-till systems use water more efficiently because their roots grow differently and better take advantage of applied water. Plus, farmers apply plant nutrients with water; increasingly precise irrigation means increasingly precise nutrient application.

Strip-till also improves air quality. Strip-till disturbs only a small amount of soil and requires fewer passes, releasing significantly less dust and diesel emissions compared to more typical tillage systems.

California strip-till2

In the Central Valley, these emissions are factors contributing to one of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the state.

Put another way, strip-till can help farmers grow high quality crops in a way that saves them money on water, nutrients, labor and fuel while helping ensure that their children will have access to enough clean water and air they need to thrive and keep their Central Valley farming legacy alive.

To learn more about conservation tillage, check out Sustainable Conservation’s Clean Air Farming program.

If you’re a farmer and you’re interested in adopting strip-till, ask about our conservation tillage equipment rental program by contacting Ladi Asgill at or 209-576-7729.