Strip-till industry veteran Mark Seipel isn’t bashful in telling people how strongly he believes in the value of strip-tilling corn.
“Strip-till can create the best seedbed, with the optimum fertilizer placement options of any system I have been involved with over the past 27 years,” says Seipel, regional sales manager for FBSciences.
Seipel worked for Yetter Mfg. Co. and for Redball for 24 years, before joining FBSciences in 2008.
“Corn-on-corn presents the toughest challenges of any crop rotations in a strip-till system,” he says. “The height of the corn head at harvest can affect the quality of seedbed that is created following up with a strip-till rig.”
Seipel offers some tips in managing corn-stalk residue.
“Leaving tall stalks after harvest reduces the amount of residue to deal with between the rows,” he says. “Attached tall stalks keep residue and snow more evenly spread. Leaving less residue on the soil will help create a more uniform, clean seedbed.
“In turn, this will improve seedbed temperatures, uniformity of moisture, soil-to-seed contact, emergence and tasseling. All of these things affect yields.”
Seipel says shredded stalks create the toughest challenges for strip-till in three ways. And, he cautions, corn harvested close to the ground will have many of the same problems as shredded stalks.
- With shredded stalks, there’s more residue on the ground to cut through and deal with to make the best seedbed.
- Without standing stalks to act as a windbreak, piles of residue form. The piles lead to uneven seedbed temperatures, soil moisture, seed-to-soil contact, emergence and tasseling, all of which reduce yields.
Residue piles up in low areas, which prevents these places from being planted.