Agricultural officials say strip-tilled crops have fared well in studies in the southwestern U.S.

More than 70 ag scientists gathered recently for a field day at the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Center at Clovis to discuss how sorghum and safflower studies seem to be faring in New Mexico and west Texas.

Rick Kochenower, a specialist from the Ohio State University Panhandle Research and Extension Center, gave details on the results of a study on the affects of reduced tillage in crops.

"I'm a huge believer in no-till because I don't care what crop you're growing; it's water that's going to make the difference," Kochenower told his audience. "But guys have raised some of their best corn by going to strip-till."

Kochenower said sorghum crops planted in the spring, just after strip-till operations, faired better than those which received it after, and that spring strip-tilled crops produce almost the same yield as no-tilled. He also said strip-tilled crops fared better in the spring than in the fall season.

He said increased rainfall and moisture during the time of the study, along with planting dates, could have impacted the improvement in the spring crops.

"I've talked to farmers who were skeptical of no-till but then they get out there and realize it's not that big of an issue," Kochenower said.