John Hanson switched to strip-till a few years ago to save money on fuel and labor costs and increase the moisture-holding capacity of the soils on his 1,600-acre farm in north central Iowa. He’s found a way to be even more efficient by planting soybeans with his Environmental Tillage Systems (ETS) SoilWarrior.

“It’s just like when you’re putting fertilizer down, except we’re doing it with soybeans instead,” Hanson says. “We angle the tube back a little bit, let the soil cover it up, and we’re done. It saves a lot of time on fuel. You don’t have to cultivate or anything. It’s just 1 pass, we’re out of the field, and it grows.”

Hanson makes 100% of his strips for corn and soybeans in the spring. If the weather cooperates, he’s hoping to make strips before the end of this week and start planting in early April. 

“We apply 30 pounds of dry urea and a sulfur product while making strips for corn,” Hanson says. “If we needed to, we could plant as soon as 1-2 hours after the sun hits those strips."

Hanson says one of the keys to spring strip-till is making sure there is good fertilizer-to-soil contact, so that nutrients are buried in the strip, deep enough where the roots grow. He also makes sure his strip-till rig is set up properly.

“Someone from ETS will usually come out in the spring to help us set everything up, just to make sure we’re ready to go, and then away we go,” Hanson says.

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