When I ask strip-tillers these days how the growing season went, yields are obviously top of mind, particularly this year as a result of the Midwestern drought and the impact on soil moisture levels.
But more than getting into yields and the weather’s impact on a strip-tiller’s operation is hearing them volunteer information on things I haven’t asked about. It’s the way to learn.
That’s what happened when I interviewed Illinois strip-tiller Brandon Grubbs for this week’s lead story in Strip-Till Strategies. My first questions were about strip-tilling in dry soils in general and, in particular, applying anhydrous ammonia. After answering these questions, Brandon then talked about the impact of low levels of potash in fields and how these deficiencies showed up this year where he farms in eastern Illinois. And he also shared the results of applying potassium thiosulfate when he sidedressed nitrogen in corn.
Crops, of course, need water and heat and too much or too little can obliterate the best tests and management practices. So, with that caveat about the impact of this year’s drought on crop production, were there fertilizer programs and practices that did or did not work in your strip-tilled crops in 2012? Share what you saw, learned or tested by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling me at (503) 507-4423.