Learning new practices and using new tools can be intimidating. That’s why the team at Environmental Tillage Systems (ETS) goes beyond the sale to ensure owners and operators are not only prepared to defend the land and lead the charge in their fields but have the service, support, and resources needed to feel confident choosing the SoilWarrior® strip-till system for their business. This includes connecting them with fellow “soil warriors” who can help them transition to strip-till and share ideas in a supportive community.
Mike Pribyl, farmer and custom service operator from Green Bay, Wis., decided to look closer at strip-till in 2019 to help customers reduce compaction and avoid fertility issues. Pribyl operates near Lake Michigan and is always looking for new opportunities to improve conservation efforts.
He’s also incredibly proactive and business savvy, making ROI a priority for his land and his customers.
“With our backgrounds in manufacturing and finance we attempt to bring a more detail-orientated approach to crop production. We say that we like to try to farm by the square foot versus farming by the acre. We focus on how to improve return on investment within our customers' businesses,” Pribyl says.
Pribyl and his associates provide spring planting, summer nitrogen sidedressing, fall winter wheat and cover crop planting, seed sales, seed treating and agronomic advising services. The SoilWarrior had to fit with their overall business plan. He shared what it’s been like to work with the team from purchase to parts and beyond.
Q: How did you decide a SoilWarrior was right for you and your business?
We brought a 12-row SoilWarrior out for a demo after meeting with our local NRCS office and identifying strip-till as a potential solution for some issues our no-till customers were experiencing. Our thought was, if we’re going to do this, we should do it right. The SoilWarrior is the Cadillac of the strip-till industry. We had to see it run and then figure out how to make it work financially for our farm and business.
After the demo, we signed up to rent it for fall 2019. Getting it set up went very smoothly and we were happy with how it performed.
A big part of making the purchase was the connections ETS provided. Dave Sender, our regional sales manager, introduced us to a SoilWarrior operator in central Wisconsin who successfully implemented strip-till on his dairy farm. We also talked to custom operators in Nebraska and Minnesota who shared business insights. Finally, he connected us with a financial expert who really helped us put pencil to paper and map out the numbers. These people sealed the deal on the sale and gave us a community of peers to reach out to for help and support.
DEFENDING THE LAND
You don’t have to choose between soil health and farm profitability. Minimize erosion while creating precise, nutrient-rich zones. Reduced passes across the field result in equipment, fuel and labor savings with the SoilWarrior®, the only complete Zone Tillage™ and precision nutrient placement system custom built for your farm.
Q: What’s it been like to work with ETS since your purchase?
It’s been seamless. We had a couple issues trying to figure out the active steering initially. Both Dave and Greg Nielsen their service technician were very responsive and helpful. They’ve even picked up the phone when I’ve called on a Saturday afternoon with an issue or question.
Last year we participated in their preventative maintenance program. We like to be proactive and have replacement parts on hand when possible. ETS is great at getting us what we need when they can despite supply chain hiccups.
They don’t just sell you a machine and walk away. You stay on their radar.
Q: Is it difficult not having a dealership down the road?
No. Initially, that was a concern, but it hasn’t been an issue. We go through our local John Deere dealer for a lot of equipment and parts but realized in this instance it might be better to go with a strip-till equipment company versus a jack-of-all trades.
I think we made the right choice. Typically, if I call for parts on a Saturday, they arrive in the yard by Tuesday. We feel supported because they’re so proactive and know strip-till and their equipment so well.
Q: Would you recommend the SoilWarrior to other farmers? Why?
Absolutely. For all the reasons listed above and a couple more.
We like to use our own ground to test and try new things. From what we’ve seen with the SoilWarrior, if you’re a farmer with 1,000 acres or more you should own one and be practicing strip-till. The return on investment is significant.
ETS is always innovating. They have a great product, but they’re not saying that’s good enough. They’re constantly looking at ways to improve and provide new offerings. Just like us. For example, the new SoilWarrior Edge three-point mounted system and row units are great options for smaller farms that need good maneuverability.
If you’re interested in learning more about the SoilWarrior and how it could fit on your farm, contact the ETS sales team.
Strip-Till Farmer's Building Healthier Soil and Profits with Strip-Till series is brought to you by Environmental Tillage Systems.
At Environmental Tillage Systems, we believe farmers shouldn’t have to choose between doing what’s right for your soil and what’s right for your business. The SoilWarrior is a complete precision zone tillage system custom built for your farm and delivered to you ready to get in the field. Backed by 24-hour service and support, The SoilWarrior takes the guess work out of strip-till so you can concentrate on defending the land and leading the charge. See soilwarrior.com for more information.