Farmers collect data and make operational changes throughout the course of their farming career. But how much of a correlation is there between the analysis and actual application of in-field information to improve on-farm decision-making?
The proof is in the percentages, says Osage, Iowa, strip-tiller Wayne Fredericks, who has seen a 30% reduction of both nitrogen and phosphorus application from using cover crops on he and his wife, Ruth’s, 750-acre operation. Fredericks credits cover crops, along with his commercial corn crop, as a successful combination in sequestering carbon.
He has worked with Jerry Hatfield, retired USDA plant physiologist, since the early 1980s, to collect data on his farm’s soil health. Soil testing has revealed an 8% increase in organic matter in 25 years.
The two have collaborated on ongoing research analyzing the impact management changes have on soil health and crop production. These include a move to strip-tilled corn on Frederick’s farm in 2001, incorporation of cover crops in 2012 and detailed analysis of the changes in soil organic matter, crop yield, spatial variation in fields and water and nutrient use efficiency.
According to Hatfield, growers lose 20% percent of crop yield due to lack of available moisture 80% percent of the time. “When we’re talking 240 bushel corn vs. 200 bushel corn or 60 bushel beans vs. 50 bushel beans, that’s significant,” says Fredericks.
During a general session at the 2021 National Strip-Tillage Conference, Aug. 5-6 in Omaha, Neb., Hatfield and Fredericks will highlight how data can drive economic and environmentally advanced on-farm decisions.
The 8th annual National Strip-Tillage Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Omaha LaVista Hotel & Conference Center and feature 2 days of strip-till education through an array of thought-provoking general sessions, strategy-packed strip-till classrooms and highly collaborative strip-till roundtable discussions.
A $35.00 Early Bird Registration discount is available through May 31, and attendees who register additional farm and family members receive increased savings. For more information and to register for the conference, visit www.StripTillConference.com.
Title sponsors making the learning and networking opportunities possible for strip-tillers include Agrisolutions, AgroLiquid, Claas, Copperhead Ag, Dawn Equipment Co., Environmental Tillage Systems, Kuhn Krause, Montag Mfg., Orthman Mfg., Schlagel Mfg., Vulcan Equipment and Yetter Mfg. Co. All 12 companies will exhibit during the 2-day educational event.
We’ll see you in Omaha!