Strip-tiller Amos Smith, from Lawnel Farms in Piffard, N.Y. shares his experience running the Soil Warrior from Environmental Tillage Systems and some early lessons learned transitioning into the practice.
My name is Amos Smith. I'm a fourth-generation dairy farmer in Western New York. We crop about 3,400 acres, primarily comprised of corn, wheat and alfalfa. All going to feed our livestock.
We considered strip-till about three years ago. Heavy, continuous tillage definitely struck us as something that we needed to get away from and we really liked the strip-till system because we can manage that crop residue while it's still alive. We don't have to actually burn it down.
We think we are benefiting the soil by adding cover crops and a lot less tillage. Which means we usually have a wider harvest window because we're not compacting the soil and we're not faced with too mellow a soil in the fall. The soils are a lot healthier. It's a great system overall.
Our goal is to achieve one pass and if we can achieve one pass, we've already cut our labor and half. Hopefully utilizing nutrients better because we're putting fertilizer down with the strip till that was one of our goals was to maximize our nutrient uptake with strip till as opposed to broadcast. And its ability to ride over foreign material like rocks. I think that definitely saves us money too.
I think it's a long-term solution. We've had pretty good yields before, but we're always looking for the next level. And we think that this is where we've got to go to get to the next level. The machine, it's definitely rugged. We like it, it's a good fit for our operation.
Hear more from Amos and Environmental Tillage Systems on the Strip-Till Farmer Podcast.
At Environmental Tillage Systems, our mission is to provide progressive farmers with an innovative production system that profitability rebuilds the land. Contact ETS to discuss how the SoilWarrior can improve ROI on your farm at www.SoilWarrior.com.