Ian Gronau is a Contributing Editor for Lessiter Publications, with primary support responsibilities for Precision Farming Dealer, Strip-Till Strategies and the Strip-Till Farmer Website. He is a graduate of Chicago’s Columbia College and has been preparing content for magazines, websites and newspapers since 2009, and has been recognized with several awards.
Often, it’s the allure of operation-wide cost reduction that convinces farmers to transition into strip-tilling. But, on Wallendal Farms, strip-tilling since 1985, they’ve found a way to push revenues in addition to enjoying the efficiencies.
‘You can’t strip-till sugarbeets,’ is something Snover, Mich., farmer Ryan Shaw had grown accustomed to hearing. But, since introducing strip-till on his 1,400-acre corn, soybean and sugarbeet operation in 2014, a glance at his fields provides evidence to the contrary.
For the past 6 years, Seth Wenzel and his father, Brian, have been transitioning to strip-tilled corn on their 4,000-acre farm near Kent, in northwest Illinois. Wenzel maintains a consistent corn and soybean rotation with approximately two-thirds of his acreage planted with corn annually.
Mead, Neb., farmer Kerry Knuth, made the transition from dragging a disc ripper and mulch finisher across his 2,200-acre corn and soybeans operation to strip-tillage back in 2005. Though a “set it and forget it,” philosophy works on some farms, Knuth quickly determined that building an ideal berm required adaptation and experimentation to accommodate ever-changing field conditions.
Dresden, Ontario strip-tiller, Mark Richards, considers himself a “bleeding-edge” farmer in terms of adopting new strategies and precision equipment. His adoption and adaptation of technology has made his 3,000-acre corn, soybean, sugarbeet, wheat and tomato operation significantly more efficient, productive and profitable.
Nora Springs, Iowa farmer Dean Sponheim calls himself an “accidental conservationist,” because he stumbled into strip-tillage by necessity and economics, rather than for reasons of environmental friendliness.
The 28th annual National No-Tillage Conference offers a mix of general sessions, No-Till Classrooms and invaluable No-Till Roundtables. Just as important is the chance to profit from unlimited hallway networking with the most innovative, forward-thinking minds in no-till during next January's event in St. Louis!
Kuhn Krause's focus, above all, is to continue to produce quality products to serve producers better; to strive to respond to their needs with new tools and new technology to meet their growing challenges. Agronomic practices are constantly changing, and at a faster pace now than ever.