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As more attention, and in some cases scrutiny, of soil and nutrient retention practices emerge, recent ag technology partnerships have the potential to reshape the tillage landscape.

John Nowatzki, machine systems specialist with North Dakota State University Extension, is involved in ongoing collaborations with two local ag manufacturers in developing variable-intensity tillage technology.

The concept compiles and analyzes soil test results, elevation and yield data and residue cover to assist with real-time decisions on tillage need. John points to the recent emphasis on reducing erosion and nutrient runoff as a motivating factor for the partnerships, and as the technology develops, it could be a catalyst for more adoption of conservation tillage practices.

As he says, there’s rising interest among equipment manufacturers to develop this technology so operators can change intensity of a disc or depth of a shank. It’s a movement toward less tillage and an opportunity for no-till and strip-till. As a result, he says we may see fewer fields with intensive tillage.

In today’s Strip-Till Farmer podcast we share excerpts from my conversation with John during the Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference in Louisville, where he shares some background on some recent research being done by the university and the outlook for variable-intensity tillage technology.







Strip-Till Farmer's podcast series is brought to you by Topcon Agriculture.

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