Shifts in Row Unit Size, Setup & Timing of Strip-Building

Greater percentage of strip-tillers ran 8-row units, preferred shank-style setups while far fewer spring strip-tilled in 2017.

Flexibility is a luxury strip-tillers often speak of with their system. The ability to adapt row-unit setups to suit field conditions, and even shift the timing of strip-building to accommodate for Mother Nature’s unpredictability, can pay big dividends for strip-tillers.

The 2018 Strip-Till Operational Practices Benchmark study highlights the annual variances in weather patterns and individual preferences which can influence how and when strip-tillers build berms.

While the average width (8½ inches) and depth of tillage (7 inches) has been consistent thought the history of the study, there are other noteworthy differences.

Perhaps the most noteworthy year-over-year change came in the percentage of spring strip-tillers, dropping from 31.4% in 2016 to a low of 24.9% last year. This decline followed 2 years of growth in spring strip-till, perhaps aided by more conducive conditions in North America during those years.

AUTUMN PREP. Trending upward is the percentage of strip-tillers preferring to build berms exclusively in fall, while those strip-tilling in spring and fall remained consistent, year-over-year.

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For the third year in a row, the percentage of fall strip-tillers grew. For the first time, more than half of respondents — 53.6% — chose the post-harvest window to build berms. This marks nearly a 7-point increase over 2016 (46.4%) and a 16-point jump over 2015 (37.3%).

While the majority prefer fall strip-till, only 14.3% of respondents said they refresh strips in the spring, although 67.7% said they sometimes will refresh strips. These totals are consistent with the last 3 years…

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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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