Many corn growers prefer strip-till vs. no-till because it creates warmer, drier and looser soil conditions to plant in the intended row area early in the growing season, according to a report by U.S. and Australian scientists.
Corn yields may not be significantly better with strip-till than with no-till when corn is planted on the same day, but strip-till enables a much longer planting season duration on finer-textured and poorly drained soils, studies say. (Photo from North Dakota State Univ.)
Corn yields with strip-till have consistently been similar to those with conventional tillage when corn follows soybean in rotation, according to scientists Drew Lyon, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Tony Vyn, Purdue University; Sarah Bruce, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia; and Gary Peterson, Colorado State University.
These scientists gave an overview of conservation tillage systems worldwide at the 2004 Australian Society of Agronomy Conference
While corn yields may not be significantly better with strip-till than with no-till when corn is planted on the same day, strip-till enables a much longer planting season duration on finer-textured and poorly drained soils.
Furthermore, strip-till ensures warmer conditions in the row area after planting than with no-till alone.
Strip-till also provides a convenient tool to incorporate fertilizer materials in bands below the intended row zones. Such deep nutrient banding may be beneficial to corn and soybean when nutrient stratification has occurred on long-term conservation-tilled fields, and when exchangeable potassium levels are low.
Strip-till is a particularly promising conservation tillage system in the more humid areas with cool springs and fine-textured soils because it combines the surface-residue conserving benefits of no-till with the planting flexibility and yield consistency of conventional tillage systems.
In fact, surveys taken after planting cannot generally distinguish a no-till field from a strip-till field, and so these two systems are combined.