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2015 Strip-Till Operational Benchmark Study: Improving Strip-Till Production with Precision Technology and Cover Crops

Ongoing adoption of cutting-edge practices and conservation-minded methods help boost strip-tilled corn and soybean yields.

Strip-tillers are no strangers to adaptation and, in many cases, their farming systems are predicated on a willingness to experiment and evolve.

This approach can keep strip-tillers productive and profitable, even in the midst of a downturn in the ag market. But being able to compare and contrast operational goals and outcomes offers additional opportunity to improve or evolve onfarm management practices.

Last year, Strip-Till Farmer surveyed more than 70 readers on how strip-tillers are building their systems and published an industry-first analysis of the report. Building on that foundation, the 2nd Annual Strip-Till Operational Benchmark Study digs deeper into the seeding, fertility and precision-farming trends shaping strip-till operations throughout the U.S.

This year, nearly 200 subscribers of No-Till Farmer’s Conservation Tillage Guide and the Strip-Till Strategies e-newsletter, who identified themselves as strip-tillers, filled out the 31-question survey.

The overall results offer some stark year-over-year contrasts, but also affirm some proven strip-till practices that contributed to a 7-bushel-per-acre increase in average corn yields and a 4-bushel per acre increase in average soybean yields in 2014 compared to 2013.

In the following pages, we break down the berm-building strategies, nutrient application methods and equipment arsenal that strip-tillers use in their operation. Each section also investigates the techniques and tools that premier strip-tillers are putting to work.

We crunched the numbers on the top 25% of respondents by corn yield (average of 236 bushels per acre) and soybean yield (average 69 bushels per acre) to see what strategies are separating them from…

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J_zemlicka

Jack Zemlicka

Jack Zemlicka is the Managing Editor for Strip-Till Farmer. Since he joined Lessiter Publications' Ag Division in 2012, he has covered precision farming practices, products and trends. He also serves as managing editor of Precision Farming Dealer, and technology editor of Farm Equipment and No-Till Farmer.

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