I’ve yet to meet a farmer who has attained perfection. Sure, several claim to have solved some of their greatest pain points, whether it’s yield consistency, nutrient application efficiency or precision farming progress.
But even the smartest farmers need a little help. Those who have adopted strip-till acknowledge that it’s not a solitary practice and many embrace the opportunity collaborate and compare strategies.
For nearly 30 years, Lessiter Media has been covering strip-till, and during the last decade, we’ve deepened our commitment with the launch of a dedicated website — www.StripTillFarmer.com — an e-newsletter (which has evolved into our new Strip-Till Strategies daily update), a podcast series and webinars.
We also launched the National Strip-Tillage Conference, heading into its 5th year in 2018, to provide a unique learning environment where farmers can network and problem-solve.
And the debut Fall 2017 issue of Strip-Till Farmer adds another resource to help strengthen and reinforce your investment in the practice. I often get asked about the growth potential of strip-till and if it’s a practice on the rise.
Anecdotally, I’ve heard from numerous farmers who see expanding pockets of strip-till throughout the country. And statistically, results of our 2017 Strip-Till Operational Benchmark Study showed a record total of 469,425 strip-tilled acres reported by 446 farmers from 20 states and Canada — a 12% increase over the prior year.
Also worth noting, is that on average, farmers reported strip-tilling about 75% of their total acreage, the highest total in the history of the survey and strip-tilled corn yields averaged 199 bushels per acre in 2016, highest in the history of our study.
Adding extra bushels or acres to a strip-till system doesn’t happen overnight and farmers understand the importance of patience and planning that translates to profit and productivity.
Within the pages of our first print edition of Strip-Till Farmer, we hope you find the diverse perspectives and experience-based knowledge to motivate and guide you — from lessons learned setting up a strip-till rig, to cover cropping techniques and innovative planting methods.
No system is perfect and there are multiple paths to success. Perhaps paraphrasing veteran Minnesota strip-tiller David Legvold, who wrote the first installment of our Strip-Till Standpoint column sums it up.
Strip-till should be an adventure, filled with motivational successes, moments of frustration and memorable partnerships.