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Here’s our question of the week.

Question: What have you found to be the pros and cons of coulters and shanks? Which have you found to be most effective and under which conditions?

A: I'm a coulter fan. I've heard complaints about shanks that they can get air pockets in the strips that cause settling when planting into the spring. Shanks will bring rocks up and coulters will leave rocks in the ground. While demoing in heavy corn residue, the shanks limited residue flow and plugged row units. It's only my opinion, but hopefully this helps!

               - Brian Ryberg, Buffalo Lake, Minn. 

A: In our soils I like spring shanks. We have lighter soil but there's enough clay content that it gets shallow compaction very quickly and I have found that the spring shank keeps that slot mellow most of the summer.

Material wrapping around the shank will ruin the strip so you have to keep an eye on that. Especially along wood lines as little roots will grow out into the field, then they wrap around the shank and it blows the strip out.

In heavy trash I run my row cleaner a little more aggressively. But also by the time I'm doing a spring pass the snowpack has settled that residue down quite a bit and takes the fluffiness out.

The shank naturally pulls itself into the ground profile which gives a good fracture to the soil. I think I would need a very aggressive ripple or even a smaller bubble type coulter to get the results I would want in our soil.

               - Jon Stevens, Rush City, Minn. 

What are your thoughts? Click here to share your answer in the Strip-Till Farmer email discussion group.