Ian Gronau

Ian Gronau

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.

ARTICLES

5 Tips for Strip-Tilled Sugarbeet Success

Strip-tilling sugarbeets by trial and error since 2014 has taught Michigan farmer Ryan Shaw how the practice can result in input reductions and cost savings.
‘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.
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Justifying a Switch to Strip-Tilling with Early Progress & Profit

Illinois farmer sees roughly $45 per-acre savings and an up to 20-bushel yield advantage on marginal soils with a transition to strip-tilling.
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.
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6 Strip-Till Adjustments for Ideal Berm-Building

Close scrutiny of soil structure and constant equipment evaluations has led Mead, Neb., farmer Kerry Knuth to be more effective, economical and efficient with strip-till.
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. 
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Playing the Percentages with Precision Investments in Strip-Till

Cutting fuel usage by 40%, saving $5,000 in seed costs while only tilling 30% of his fields provide tangible return on investment with technology for Mark Richards.
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.
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Strip-Cropping Experiments Yielding Economic, Environmental Advantages

Since adopting the modified strip-till system in 2008, Dean Sponheim has seen a 12-15% increase in corn yield and an $80-$100 per acre increase in net income.
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.
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