Frustration if often a byproduct of progress, and as any strip-tiller will tell you integrating new technology into their operation often comes with a hitch or two.
When it comes to supporting your operation, being able to rely on someone with an understanding of a strip-till system is an asset when it comes to troubleshooting technology and equipment problems.
With the high level of management that goes into refining and evolving a strip-till system, it’s not unreasonable for farmers to have consistently high service and support standards.
Many of the features in our ‘What Farmers Want From You’ series featured in our sister publication, Precision Farming Dealer, highlight both the successes and challenges strip-tillers encounter with adoption of precision tools, from equipment compatibility to maintaining a reliable GPS signal.
Plenty of tech headaches are universal. But in talking with strip-tillers I’ve found dealerships that take the initiative to gain a working knowledge of strip-till can minimize those pain points.
Precision specialist Matt Miller works closely with his father-in-law, Randy Hoff, on his 450-acre strip-till operation near Mitchell, Neb., supporting and updating the farm’s precision technology.
Miller has worked with a variety of strip-tillers, helping them overcome their obstacles to successful precision farming implementation. One challenge he’s seen arise on Randy’s farm is getting his Trimble EZ Pilot assisted steering system adjusted for the 8-row Schlagel strip-till rig’s side pull.
Every piece of field equipment has some side pull and that’s especially true on the strip-till rig. Miller says the process of compensating for drift is counterintuitive.
“It took us a few hours in the field working with it and then following up with the planter to make sure we were getting there,” he says. “It turns out, the compensation needs to be in the direction of the drift, not against it. I wish drift adjustment systems were easier to configure.”
One advantage to Miller’s experience as both a user and troubleshooter of technology is that he can understand a strip-tiller’s frustration when things don’t work.
“That’s only made worse when the dealer isn’t as responsive as the farmer would like,” he says. “It takes patience on both sides. We all have a time crunch and long days.”
Hear more from Matt Miller at the 4th annual National Strip-Tillage Conference in Omaha on Aug. 3-4 where he’ll be sharing tips and techniques for marrying strip-till equipment and technology with the method for a more efficient system.