The Magical Parts of Strip-Tilling

It is definitely winter here in the Great Plains of the United States as I write this, minus some degrees. Youza! 

But just only what seems days ago, growers who have made the switch from tilling the soil into submission and rarely hear it screaming back, were out allowing a satellite to take control of the steering wheel of that big diesel machine and pull your strip-till tool. Felt good did it not?

Now allow some of this to register… porosity, seedbed, seedling development, moisture influx, carbon exchange, earthworms (both lateral and vertical dwellers) and aeration in soils prone to being wet and/or anaerobic. 

All of these details/nuances of soil were potentially improved. Strip-tillers may have placed a portion of their nutrients with a precision fall pass, or will, come spring. The concept of making ‘soil black,’ when strip-tilling for you in the states north of 41 degrees has importance for spring soil warming and seed germination. 

Positive placement of nutrients, especially phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) right in the early season active root zone is very much a good thing! Now, don’t pat yourself too much if you loaded up with fall nitrogen (N).

You just may have spent money to only dissipate part of it to the wind, so to speak, or down the proverbial rat hole. If fall was a bit wet when harvesting, and you know about compaction, well, strip-tilling most likely gave you a smile. 

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