Let me say from the outset: I don’t know for sure whose idea was developed into modern-day strip-till. But I was intrigued to find a 50-year-old report describing strip-till research and testing done by the University of Missouri from 1956 to 1962.
This issue of Strip-Till Strategies includes several excerpts from that report, as well as photos.
Of course, the journey of taking an idea to developing, testing and manufaturing it is a long one, let alone seeing if farmers will adopt it. I’ll leave it up to others to debate when the first real-world strip-till machines began preparing fields for corn, soybeans and other crops.
But having seen the ditches in the Corn Belt filled with the world’s best soil that was blown off fields that were moldboard plowed, I’m just glad that someone came up with the idea of strip-till and began testing it.
I don’t know what choices strip-tillers will have during the next 50 years, but I’m sure the innovations will start with someone who has an idea about doing things better and the passion and perseverance to see it through.
As always, we welcome your contributions on effective strip-till practices, whether you share those in e-mails or photos.