For the second year in a row, farmers increased the average number of acres they strip-tilled, despite a minor dip in the percentage of farm acreage strip-tilled.
Overall, survey respondents averaged 1,139 strip-tilled acres, compared to 948 reported in the 2015 study and 877 in 2014. But the percentage of total acreage being strip-tilled decreased slightly from 63.7% in last year’s study to 62.1%, although still well ahead of the 54% reported in 2014.
Another fluctuation came in the percentage of farmers strip-tilling their entire operation. This year’s study showed that 23.6% of respondents strip-till 100% of their farm in 2015, down about 6 percentage points from 2014 (29.9%), though well ahead of 2013 (11%).
It will be interesting to see if farmers continue to add strip-till acres and grow the niche farming practice. The results of the 8th Annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study published by No-Till Farmer earlier this year are encouraging, with 10.5% of respondents saying they strip-till — nearly 3 points higher than reported in the 2015 study (7.7%).
Increasing Corn Acres
While overall adoption of strip-till appears to be on the rise, this year’s Strip-Till Operational Benchmark Study revealed a shift in the amount of strip-tilled acres farmers allotted for corn and soybeans. The average number of strip-tilled corn acres increased for the second straight year, starting at 717 in 2013, to 737 in 2014 and 860 last year.
But for the first time, strip-tilled soybean acres declined to an average of 413, compared to 476…