If you are like me, technology has become an even more important tool in daily life. Business communication, social interaction and idea sharing are accomplished through a variety of platforms, apps and web portals. 

Is it the same as standing face-to-face with a peer, co-worker or employee? No. But it also doesn’t have to be. One thing I’ve learned is that the value of information isn’t diminished in a virtual setting and in some cases, I’ve found it to be even more accessible. 

This week, you will have the opportunity to join us for the 7th annual National Strip-Tillage Conference, being held virtually for the first time, running Aug. 6-8. As our staff has diligently worked behind the scenes to deliver a high-quality experience, I’ve had the pleasure of coordinating several speaker sessions and wanted to provide a sneak peek to get your wheels turning heading into the next few days. 

27-Bushel Boost. Charles City, Va., strip-tiller David Hula talks about his move to strip-tilled corn 3 years ago and how on the first test plot where he tried the practice, he saw a significant yield increase which he attributes to banded fertilizer application and evaluating corn stands early and often with weekly tissue test samples.  

During his general session starting at 9 a.m. central time, Thursday, Aug. 6, Hula explains the systematic strip-till philosophy which he’s adopted which includes pulling frequent tissue samples starting at the V2 stage for corn. 

After three sets of samples comparing different plots with fertilizer applications of 100%, 60% of total planned amount, and no fertilizer, Hula says as they progress through this year’s growing season, the differences in plant health have been negligible, and he’s encouraged that come harvest, the results will be promising.

Carbon Credit Commoditization? Osage, Iowa, strip-tiller Wayne Fredericks and retired USDA plant physiologist Jerry Hatfield have a wealth of data and analysis from on-farm ROI trials they are conducting together, and have some interesting outlooks on the value of carbon going forward. Fredericks suggests the opportunity to capitalize on carbon could have a significant impact on land sales in the next decade, along with possibly developing a soil health score that could be part of a farm marketing strategy. 

Be sure to check out Hatfield and Frederick’s on-demand classroom session during the conference this week. 

Getting Started: Goals & Gains. For first timers looking to transition into strip-till, North Bend, Neb., farmer Nick Emanuel provides a primer. 

From equipment options and matching tractor horsepower to suit your strip-till rig to dialing in nutrient management goals and picking the proper precision tools, Emanuel shares his personal experiences and advice on getting started in strip-till during his on-demand classroom session. 

As always, we strive to provide a diverse program with experience-based advice on hot-button topics and trends that are shaping strip-till. While we would have loved to assemble together, we hope you take advantage of some of the benefits of the virtual experience such as sharing burning questions and getting real-time answers from fellow attendees, speakers and sponsors, the ability to pause and rewind on-demand content and immediately discuss session takeaways with your on-farm team and implement those best ideas.