Sean Arthur isn’t just a regional sales manager for Environmental Tillage Systems. He’s also a farmer and a big fan of strip-till. He spent several years working in the seed and ag equipment industries before moving back to the farm and adopting strip-tillage to protect his soil and grow his ROI.
“Strip-till helps preserve the land and drives performance of the ground to achieve great yields. I love telling growers about how it can help enhance their operations,” Arthur says.
In fact, that’s how he likes to start conversations with potential SoilWarrior buyers: What are your farm goals and how does strip-till fit into the equation?
“If strip-till doesn’t have a role on the farm or solve a challenge, we can’t have the conversation about whether or not a SoilWarrior is right for them,” Arthur says. “SoilWarrior customers come from all different backgrounds. I talk with no-tillers looking for better yield potential, conventional tillers looking to cut input costs and labor as well as both seeking better fertilizer efficiency. The SoilWarrior helps solve these issues, but we can’t talk equipment until they decide on the practice.”
Once they’re in on strip-till, Arthur enjoys helping them design a SoilWarrior to meet their unique needs.
“Just like every farm is different, so is every SoilWarrior. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but I’m confident we can make our systems work for nearly every type of operation,” Arthur says.
Choosing Your Row Unit
The SoilWarrior X coulter-based row unit is the most common choice for customers. Coulters cut through field residue, mix the soil about 6 inches deep and create a phenomenal seedbed. They’re incredibly flexible and an effective way to blend fertilizer throughout the planting zone.
Those looking for deeper tillage can also run a single 30-inch cog to reach a depth of 12 inches and really open the soil. No other company offers this option.
The SoilWarrior N row unit gives growers the opportunity to run a shank and single coulter. Shanks help achieve consistent tillage depth, break through hard soils and seal anhydrous ammonia.
The Edge row unit combines all these options into a highly versatile package that allows growers to switch between coulters and a shank depending on field conditions.
When it comes to determining the right row unit, Arthur says it tends to be less about the soil and more about flexibility.
“Sometimes it’s better to use a shank in tight, clay soils but other times it can cause sidewall compaction or smearing. Coulters tend to be more forgiving. A lot of new customers are leaning toward the Edge row unit because it gives them the most flexibility and is very durable.”
Residue is another factor to consider when selecting a row unit. Those planting corn on corn can have high residue that creates plugging. The coulter-based set up is second to none when handling these field situations.
Selecting Your System
Once the row unit is selected the conversation turns to fertilizer and whether a complete or three-point mounted system is preferred.
Complete SoilWarrior systems are available in several widths with dry granular or liquid fertilizer tank options.
The 4500 series system offers the widest range of fertilizer application options as well as up to 24 rows of tillage. Growers can choose from a pair of 4-ton bins, a pair of 5-ton bins or three bins (4 tons, 2 tons and 4 tons) to apply up to 10 tons and three different products in a single pass.
The 3100 series system was designed with the same technology and row unit options but in a more compact design. It offers four to eight rows of tillage along with a single 5-ton granular fertilizer bin for integrated fertilizer application.
Those applying liquid fertilizer can have a 2,200-gallon tank mounted to their system instead, or add a pair of 300 gallon saddle tanks to a dry system.
The other option for growers who just want to strip-till or use an existing fertilizer cart is the Edge three-point mounted system. This consists of a toolbar with six to 18 rows of tillage.
SoilWarrior systems are built with ISOBUS technology so they easily plug and play with variable-rate fertilizer, guidance and other precision tech. This makes for a smooth transition no matter which system they choose.
“My goal is to listen, get to know the farm and practices currently being used then customize a machine to fit their needs,” Arthur says.
Digging Into The Details
Before completing a quote, Arthur asks the following questions to get the details right:
Do you have a tech-savvy operator? Running a SoilWarrior is like running a planter. Owners should have someone they trust to stay in the zone and accurately apply variable-rate fertilizers via VRT.
What’s your horsepower? The SoilWarrior should run between 6 to 9 mph, which is faster than conventional tillage. Arthur knows how to help match the right system to the right tractor to go the right speed.
How many rows is your planter? A lot of customers think they need to purchase a SoilWarrior that’s the same row/width as their planter. Thanks to GPS and RTK, they can go with fewer rows and the signal will keep them on the zone. Add in optional cart steering and accuracy is even greater.
Arthur knows so much about the systems and how to craft them for ultimate performance because he runs a SoilWarrior on his farm. He enjoys being a resource because he’s experienced the durability and what it can do firsthand.
“I’ve seen how it helps preserve my land while enhancing plant performance and yields. I love helping farmers think through all the factors and get the right SoilWarrior set up to be successful with strip-till,” Arthur says.
Have a question about strip-till, the SoilWarrior or how to get started with a quote? Reach out to Sean or a member of our sales team today to get the answers you need.
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.