Leo Johnson and his son, Patrick, are planting corn into strips for the first time in southern Wisconsin. Leo and Patrick discuss how their strip-till maiden voyage has gone so far in this preview of Leo’s 2024 National Strip-Tillage Conference presentation, “What I Learned from My First Year Strip-Tilling.” The conference takes place Aug. 8-9 in Madison, Wis. Download the full program and register at StripTillConference.com.

After a 44-year run as co-owner and president of Case IH dealer Johnson Tractor in Wisconsin and Illinois, Johnson retired to pursue his lifelong dream of farming. Although he has an extensive knowledge of equipment, Johnson was a novice at almost everything else when he started farming 1,000 acres of corn and soybeans in southern Wisconsin.  

Armed with good suppliers, neighbors and intentions, Johnson began strip-tilling in 2023. Johnson will share a first-hand account of what year 1 in a strip-till operation looks like and will share the potential landmines he faced. Johnson will also discuss his decision-making in picking the right strip-till rig for his soils, his first experience in making strips, how to prepare a good seedbed and apply nutrients where they’ll give you the most bang for your buck.