Transition to Twin-Row Strip-Till Increases Yields, Minimizes Erosion

Complementary systems help Nebraska farmer Clare Kurz increase yield by double digits and adopt a more economical fertility program.

Pictured Above: TIMELY TRANSITION. In 2005, Palmer, Neb., farmer Clare Kurz permanently adopted strip-till to complement his twin-row system. The combination has helped increase corn yields by 20 bushels per acre and soybeans by 8-10 bushels on his 2,000-acre operation

Struggling to maintain yield consistency and mitigate erosion of precious topsoil, Clare Kurz adopted a twin-row system on his mostly irrigated 2,000-acre corn and soybean operation nearly 15 years ago. But the move was only part of the solution, as the Palmer, Neb., farmer also wanted a more efficient method to apply fertilizer and manage residue.

After experimenting with no-till, conventional tillage and ridge-till, Kurz turned to strip-till in 2005 to complement his twin-row setup. The permanent transition has helped improve nutrient uptake and water infiltration, reduced soil erosion and gradually increase both corn and soybean yields.

“We’ve put together a pretty effective system that helps make the most of our primarily sandy soils,” Kurz says. “It’s been a combination of banding fertilizer, reducing erosion and improving soil structure that has contributed to a 20-bushel increase in corn yields and 8-10 bushels per acre with soybeans.”

Twin-Row ‘Leapfrog’

While making the move to twin-row has proven to be a good fit, it didn’t come without its initial challenges. Kurz prefers a crop rotation of 3 years corn followed by 1 year of soybeans, but managing corn-on-corn residue proved to be problematic.

“We switched from 36-inch singles to 36-inch twins, with our twin rows about 8 inches apart. Planting an average…

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J zemlicka

Jack Zemlicka

Jack Zemlicka was 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 served as managing editor of Precision Farming Dealer, and technology editor of Farm Equipment and No-Till Farmer.

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